This site is an archive of Animating Art History, a widening participation partnership between The Courtauld Institute of Art and University of the Arts London, that ran from 2009-2014. Follow the links to find animations, photographs and texts making connections with artworks in the collection.
Masum, Work-in-Progress, 2009
Inspired by Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889.
This animation is about the friendship between Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin and the mystery about how Van Gogh’s ear got chopped off. Because of copyright I couldn’t use the self-portrait by Gauguin so I copied the painting and then animated it with Final Cut Pro and After Effects so that they are in the painting together and Van Gogh’s ear is back on. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do the sound track.
Paul Gauguin joined Van Gogh in Arles in November 1888, in order to paint together in what Van Gogh called the ‘studio of the south’, but they quickly started to quarrel. After an argument on 23 December, Van Gogh mutilated his right ear. He was admitted to hospital, and Gauguin returned to Paris.
This self-portrait was one of the first works Van Gogh painted after this incident. He seems to have thought that the act of painting would help him recover his mental equilibrium.
Van Gogh wears rough outdoor clothing. Behind him are an easel with a scarcely worked painting, and a print he owned by the Japanese artist Sato Torakiyo (dating from the 1870s). The picture could be a defiant statement of his determination to continue painting.