19th Century
Self Portrait

Oil on canvas
Image size: 9 1/4 x 7 inches (23.5 x 18 cm)
Original pierced gilt frame

This wonderful Pre-Raphaelite self-portrait contributes to the artistic tradition of representing one’s self through visual means, a tradition that stretches back to the time of Ancient Egypt.

Throughout the course of art history self-portraiture has remained a tried and true practice among leading artists. Self portraits can provide a fascinating glimpse into an artist’s personality, professional ambition and their social success.

This self portrait is an exercise in technique as well as personal self-examination. The artist’s soft eyes and relaxed body language welcome us into the scene we are presented with. The exquisite detail that the artist has achieved with the oil paint is captivating – look at the individually crafted hairs that punctuate the man’s chin. This detail adds to the atmosphere of the scene, as does the warm lighting with which the artist has been lit. The light illuminates the artist’s face as he turns to the viewer while creating a shadow across his jawline. A glowing aura is also formed around his figure, allowing the artist to exude a stage-like presence.