Artwork Title: Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette - Artist Name: Vincent van Gogh

Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette

Vincent van Gogh, 1885-1886

13 x 10 inch
Painted in Antwerp, Jan. - Feb. 1886. Vincent smoked tobacco... "Did I you already tell that I have taken up smoking a pipe again? I have found in it an old faithful friend, I believe that we never more will separate. Uncle Vincent told me that you smoke too." (Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh, Paris, 10 Dec. 1875). ( This undated the Van Gogh Museum in Antwerp, renders a macabre vision of a smoking skeleton in a muted, monochromatic palette. It remains somewhat ambiguous whether the artist van Gogh was making a serious commentary on the brevity of life, or a sardonic jab at the seriousness of morbid art. The museum website explains: “It was probably executed in the winter of 1885–86, during Van Gogh’s stay in Antwerp. This skull with a cigarette was likely meant as a kind of joke, and probably also as a comment on conservative academic []

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