Self-portrait

DEFINITION

A two or three-dimensional self depiction, it is by the artist. Many of them as originals, or even as prints, are desirable collector's items because it is a way of getting close to the artist. Self-portraits are common in Europe and America from the 19th century, but the tradition is much earlier. In the ancient Greek civilization in 438 B.C., the sculptor, Phidias, reportedly was jailed for placing his self-portrait in the frieze he did for the Parthenon because it was perceived as equating himself with the gods. German artist, Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), was the first artist to create a significant number of self-portraits, beginning when he was age 28 with a depiction of himself as a Christ-like figure. Between 1629 and 1669, Van Rijn Rembrandt (1606-1669) did a series of self-portraits. Among 19th and 20th-century painters, styles of self-portraits are wide ranging from the more formal poses by William Merritt Chase and George de Forest Brush to semi-modernist of Thomas Eakins to the ultra-mod renderings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jim Dine. Source: AskART database; John O???Hern, ???Artists??? self-portraits???, ???American Art Collector???, May 2006, pp. 40-45.

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