Was Paul Gauguin a Monster?

Self-portrait with Halo (1889) by Paul Gauguin. Oil on wood. 79.2 x 51.3 cm. Chester Dale Collection, The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., U.S. Image source NGA (public domain)

In this intriguing self-portrait, Paul Gauguin portrays himself with a halo above his head and a thin, sinuous snake between the fingers of his hand. The overlapping stems of a meandering plant form a rhythmic pattern in front of him.

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