Most artists leave a self-portrait or two behind. Call it a visual autobiography if you will. In fact Van Gogh painted himself 37 times, Albrecht Durer 12 times and Rembrandt over 60 times. Is it arrogance or simply the availability of a willing subject that attracts us to ourselves as subjects?
Self-portraits can take many forms:
- Rembrandt’s multitude of self portraits act as a chronicle of his life, beginning in his early experimental years and continuing throughout his career they provide an interesting view into how he saw himself at various stages in his life.
- Van Gogh painted the majority of his self-portraits between 1886 and 1890. They show his struggle leading up to his suicide in 1890. He even painted himself shortly after cutting off a portion of his ear in ‘Self Portrait with Bandaged Head’
- Raphael’s ‘School of Athens’ is thought to be a who’s who of the ancient world. Raphael cast himself in the role of Apelles and can be seen in the bottom right hand corner looking out at the viewer, a different kind of signature to be sure.
- Perhaps the most arrogant of self-portraits belongs to Albrecht Durer. Untitled, it states boldly on the painting itself:
Despite the arrogance the painting is still considered one of the most stunning of its time.
Inevitably, as photography developed, photographers began producing their own self-portraits. Here are some of the best photographers and their take on themselves:
Today we have automatic cameras, cell phone cameras, remote releases, self-timers, interval timers or an outstretched hand to help us with our own self-portraits. Add a dash of internet, Facebook and other photo sharing sites and you have the ‘selfie’ and the flood of self-portraits available today.
So what’s your take on ‘selfies’?
Are we chronicling our lives, gaining self-knowledge or revealing more of ourselves than we realize?
Do we compare well with the masters or has Facebook killed the self-portrait?
A quick trip north on a cloudy day….
Quick shoot at a nearby lake for the soon to be married couple….
Really looking forward to the wedding….
I swear he can sleep anywhere.
Picked up a couple of new backdrops a while back but didn’t get a chance to try them out until today. I even had a little helper…for a while anyway.
They’re nice quality backdrops. Huge, muslin and painted so they’re a little messy to work with in the beginning but I’m happy with them.
..let me know what you think.
Still a cutie…