How Does Van Gogh Sign His Paintings?

Vincent Van Gogh signed his paintings in many different ways. It is good to understand exactly how and where he signed his paintings.

Vincent Van Gogh usually signed his paintings simply ”Vincent” with a line under his name. Sometimes he would add a date and an inscription if the painting was for a friend. Vincent Van Gogh usually signed his paintings on the left-hand side, but other times he signed his name on an object in the painting.

Van Gogh Signed His Paintings As “Vincent”

Vincent Van Gogh did not sign his painting as Van Gogh but simply Vincent. The fact he used the name Vincent is interesting as today, so many people call him merely”Van Gogh.”

One of the reasons that Vincent Van Gogh signed his paintings simply ”Vincent” was that he had made his home in France; in fact, many of the letters he wrote to his siblings were also in French, although that was not their native language.

He signed his paintings as ”Vincent” as he felt that using his Dutch last name of ”Van Gogh” may be too difficult for French speakers to pronounce.

We also know from the many letters he wrote to his brother Theo that he always ended his letters ”tout a toi, Vincent,” which means ”forever yours Vincent.” His signature on those letters also had a line under his name.

Van Gogh And His Painting Signatures

Like many other things to do with Vincent Van Gogh, there is no set way or method as to how he signed his paintings.

What is interesting about his paintings is that today most artists will sign their paintings on the righthand side of the painting, but Vincent Van Gogh signed his painting on the lefthand side.

But even the lefthand signature rule to Vincent Van Gogh is not always the case as sometimes he changed the rule; he would place his signature on an object or part of the panting.

He often emphasized the letter ”V” more heavily than the other letters on his signature. When you look at his signature, you can see that the V, especially the first stroke of the V, was heavier than the other letters.

Different Ways That Vincent Van Gogh Signed His Paintings

There are so many different ways that Vincent Van Gogh signs his paintings. He was known to sign them in various locations and methods.

Here are some of the different ways that Vincent Van Gogh signed his works of art:

  • Name Vincent And Line – He would often sign his work of art as simply Vincent. That name Vincent would have a line under it. An example would be the Impasse des Deux Freres he painted in 1887.
Impasse des Deux Freres (1887) By Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh Signature At Impasse des Deux Freres Painting
  • Name Vincent, Date, And Line – Sometimes, he would sign his painting Vincent and then put a date next to it and a line underneath. The date would usually be 87 and not 1887. An example of this signature is the Vincent Van Gogh Sunflowers, 1887. Sometimes the date would be on the side of the signature, but even this rule changed.
Sunflowers, (1887) By Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, Signature At Sunflower Painting
  • Inscribed, Name And Line – Sometimes, Vincent Van Gogh would inscribe on his paintings, particularly if he was exchanging a painting with another artist or friend. An example of this is the Basket of Apples he painted in 1887. He wrote on the painting in French ”to my friend Lucien Pissarro” and then put his name with his signature line under his name.
Basket of Apples, (1887) By Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh, Signature At The Basket of Apple Painting
  • Signature On An Object In The Painting – Sometimes, Vincent Van Gogh would put his signature on an object in the painting itself. An example of this is the painting by Vincent Van Gogh called “Self-Portrait – 1887” In this painting, he painted a picture of himself painting and put the signature on the right-hand side of the canvas with his name line and date under the signature.
Self-Portrait (1887) By Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh’s Signature At Self-Portrait Painting

How Vincent Van Gogh’s Signature Is Authenticated

If a Vincent Van Gogh painting is looking to be authenticated, one of the areas that the experts will look at is the signature. To be able to authenticate a Vincent Van Gogh painting does take expert knowledge.

As we have already mentioned, there are so many various ways that today’s authenticators will check to authenticate Vincent van Gogh’s paintings.

Here are some of the ways authenticators may use to authenticate the signature on a Van Gogh painting:

  • Check Against Other Paintings – The authenticators will look at the signature on a painting to the largest possible pool of authenticated signatures.
  • Look For Patterns – They will then look for similar patterns to ensure that the signature matches other Vincent Van Gogh signature patterns they know.
  • Look At The Signature Application – They will also look at the signature application to ensure the Vincent Van Gogh signature is applied by hand with paints and brushes.
  • Compared To Other Vincent Van Gogh Signatures – As Vincent Van Gogh was known to write more than 2,000 letters, many signatures can be used to compare to see if the signature on a painting is authentic.

Like many things about the great artist Vincent van Gogh, there is no one hard and fast rule about where or how he signed his paintings. The most common denominator is that he did sign his paintings as Vincent with a line underneath his name. This is the same way that he signed many of the letters that he wrote.

Anita Louise Art is dedicated to art education, great artists, and inspiring others to find and create their art. We love art that uplifts and inspires. #ArtToMakeYouSmile! #ArtToMakeYouHappy!

If you are interested to see any of my art, you can find out more by clicking here. If you are interested in what inspires me and my paintings, you can discover more by clicking here.

We have a free newsletter and would love you to be part of our community; you can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking here. If you have any questions, I would be happy to talk to you. You can reach me, Anita, by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Anita Louise Art YouTube Channel with great videos and information by clicking here.

Join us for our podcast 5 Minutes With Art.” Spend just 5 minutes a week with us to discover and learn about great art and artists. You can find out more about our podcast by clicking here.

What Art Tools Did Vincent Van Gogh Use?

Vincent Van Gogh used most of the essential tools that artists of his day used, such as oil paints, turpentine, oil, canvas, brushes, palette knife, and easel. We learn from some of his letters how he used these art tools for his paintings. We also know from the letters how essential these art tools were to him.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading What Art Tools Did Vincent Van Gogh Use?.

Why Are Vincent Van Gogh’s Paintings So Valuable?

Vincent van Gogh was an extremely prolific artist who painted over 900 works of art during his short lifetime. His work is appealing, and his use of colors and brushstrokes help make his art genuinely unique. He inspired many art movements and artists, and Van Gogh left us a legacy of not only his art but also his letters and thoughts.

By clicking here, you can discover more by reading Why Are Vincent Van Gogh’s Paintings So Valuable?

Doctor Who’s “Exploding Tardis” By Vincent Van Gogh – Fact Or Fiction?

The Exploding Tardis by Vincent Van Gogh is a fictional painting in the British television series Season 5. The painting is roughly based on Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting, but Vincent Van Gogh did not paint the painting. The Doctor Who story and this painting are entirely fictional.

By clicking here, you can learn more by reading Doctor Who’s “Exploding Tardis” By Vincent Van Gogh – Fact Or Fiction?.

Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

Recent Posts

How Does Van Gogh Sign His Paintings?