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The Cover
August 23/30, 2000

Self-portrait

Author Affiliations
 

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(8):929. doi:10.1001/jama.284.8.929

After the disastrous episode with Vincent van Gogh in Arles at the end of 1888, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) returned to Paris, where once again he lived with his friend and fellow painter, Émile Schuffenecker. Sometime in the spring of 1889 he returned to Pont Aven, where he had worked the previous year with Émile Bernard, Charles Laval, and Jacob Meyer de Haan. Finding the colony was now too "arty," he and his friends moved on to Le Pouldu, an exotic little village some 15 miles away, on the Bay of Biscay. They stayed at a small inn run by Mme Marie Henry. Soon the walls of the dining room were decked with portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and drawings. Ceramics and sculptures also decorated the room. One of the paintings was Gauguin's Breton Girls Dancing (JAMA cover, July 8, 1988); another, painted directly on the upper panel of a wooden cupboard door, was Self-portrait (cover ). Also sometimes known as Symbolist Self-portrait With Halo, the painting is a radical development in Gauguin's style. That even he considered it to be such is confirmed by the stylized signature, "P Go" at the lower left of the canvas.

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