Van Gogh did this self-portrait with straw hat in the summer of 1887. It is notable for its loose, sketchy style. The painting is highly discoloured, so that the background colour has almost completely disappeared. Van Gogh made at least 27 self-portraits during this period. It was a good technical exercise and cheap, as he didn't have to pay models to pose. The material on which he painted this and some other self-portraits was also cheap, as he worked not on canvas but on board.
Though there are many self-portraits of Vincent van Gogh, we know of only two photographic portraits. One was made when he was 12 years old and the other when he was 19. Both photos are owned by the Van Gogh Museum.