Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette
|Dutch: Kop van een skelet met brandende sigaret|
|Artist||Vincent van Gogh|
|Type||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||32 cm × 24.5 cm (13 in × 9.6 in)|
|Location||Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam|
Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette (Dutch: Kop van een skelet met brandende sigaret) is an undated painting by Vincent van Gogh, part of the permanent collection of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It was probably painted in the winter of 1885–86 as a humorous comment on conservative academic practices, an assumption based on the fact that Van Gogh was in Antwerp at that time, attending classes at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, classes he would later say were boring and taught him nothing.
In 2008, the painting was used by graphic designer Chip Kidd on the first edition cover for When You Are Engulfed in Flames, a collection of essays written by David Sedaris. Sedaris is said to have been "fascinated with the image" after seeing it on a postcard during a trip to Amsterdam.
In 1887–88, van Gogh painted two more paintings with skulls, the only other works of his (besides a drawing from the same period) to use skulls as a motif.
- Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette, 1886 at the Van Gogh Museum