before the internet was around to thread everyone together, artistic friendships were founded upon correspondence and mutual admiration. when van gogh learned that emile bernard was working with paul gauguin, vincent asked bernard to paint gauguin's portrait. bernard was to intimidated to paint the older and better known painter. so, he chickened out and painted a self portrait in van gogh's style with a portrait of gauguin in the background (above). vincent was delighted with the results. included in the package was a self-portrait by gauguin with a portrait of bernard in the background (below).