19th Century
Self Portrait

Graphite and pastel on paper
Image size  14 x 11½ inches

In this self portrait, dating from the early 19th century, the artist has chosen to depict himself resting his tousled head heavily on his left hand in a state of melancholic dishevelment, with an unbuttoned collar and distracted eyes.

Melancholia has long been associated with creative genius and was therefore seen as a fashionable affliction amongst aspiring and creative young men, particularly poets and artists.