Self-portraits #6 ("maybe selfies")

Marie-Denise Villers, Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Giorgione, Sandro Botticelli, Peter de Hooch, Johannes Vermeer, Leonardo da Vinci
Here are a few images that, for one or more reasons, have been suggested to be presumed, probable or possible self-portraits of artists for whom there is a shortage of definitive ones.

To me, there is often a certain look in the eyes of a self-portrait — one that I think comes from the mental shift involved in drawing or painting — an odd combination of far-away and intensely focused, almost trance-like.

It’s only there in direct self-portraits, not in those involving more than one mirror. I see it in the pieces by Villers, Van Eyck, Botticelli and Da Vinci. The Vermeer is too dark to see. The Bruegel, if a self-portrait, is a two-mirror setup. The others just seem indeterminate. Not that my assessment means anything; I just find it an interesting thing to look for in possible self-portraits.

See my post on “The Face of Leonardo?“.

(Images above: Marie-Denise Villers, Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Giorgione, Sandro Botticelli, Peter de Hooch, Johannes Vermeer, Leonardo da Vinci)

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

4 Replies to “Self-portraits #6 ("maybe selfies")”

  1. Most interesting. I had never thought about the mental shift/ trance look that a painted selfie is likely to have, only the direction of the eyes, which, of course, can be changed by 2 mirrors.
    The depiction of the trance (I call it being in the ‘Zone’) brings up a whole new lot of thoughts for me. One being that can it be painted by someone else (say, when painting someone in the act of painting)? as well as it is revealed in a self-portrait. And can a self-portrait ever NOT show it? Is it possible to paint one’s own eyes withOUT being in the Zone?

  2. Hey, Charley!
    Selfies I think of are the Michelangelo in the Giudizio Universal in the Capella Sistina, his self-portrait as Nicodemus in the Pieta’ in the Museo Dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, the Rembrant in the Jesus Calms the Storm, and Cellini in the back of Perseus’ head in the Loggia dei Lanzi in the Piazza Della Signoria! Thanks for your blog! I learn tons!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *