Muses

Self-Portrait

In a time of addictive self-portraiture with obsessive selfies documenting the banality of our existences or serving duck-faced narcissists, it is important to remember what portraiture is really about. Artists right from the Antiquity have represented themselves to sign their work of arts. When painters scrutinized their own faces from the Renaissance, it became more a question of self-evaluation than self-celebration. When artists and photographers choose to document their very own self, they raise questions about time, the body and death and the self-portrait enables to become in a way, immortal as it fixes on paper or a canvas, an image, a gaze, a moment and sometimes even the very essence of the being. Self-portraiture can also serve obsessions and psychological issues for such artists as Gustave Courbet - who stated ‘I have produced in my life many portraits of myself, as my state of mind was evolving; I have written my life in a word’ - Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo while others deliberately remove all autobiographical purposes and use self-portraiture to conceive a new identity, new fantasy characters such as Cindy Sherman does with her dramatic ‘mise-en-scènes’ and Pierre Molinier with his fetish and provocative tranvestites.  

Richard Avedon, Self-Portrait, 1963
Richard Avedon, Self-Portrait, 1963
Ed Feingersh, Self-Portrait and Marylin Monroe, 1955
Ed Feingersh, Self-Portrait and Marylin Monroe, 1955
Lee Miller, Self Portrait in Headband, New York, 1932 © Lee Miller Archives
Lee Miller, Self Portrait in Headband, New York, 1932 © Lee Miller Archives
Ré Soupault, Self-Portrait, Tunis, 1939
Ré Soupault, Self-Portrait, Tunis, 1939
Édouard Boubat, Self-Portrait with Lella, 1952
Édouard Boubat, Self-Portrait with Lella, 1952
Francesca Woodman, Self-portrait talking to Vince, Providence, Rhode Island, c. 1975/ 1978
Francesca Woodman, Self-portrait talking to Vince, Providence, Rhode Island, c. 1975/ 1978
Stanley Kubrick, Self-Portrait, 1945/ 1950
Stanley Kubrick, Self-Portrait, 1945/ 1950
Inge Morath, Self-Portrait, Jerusalem, 1958
Inge Morath, Self-Portrait, Jerusalem, 1958
Walker Evans, Self-Portrait, 1930's
Walker Evans, Self-Portrait, 1930's
Imogen Cunningham, Self-Portrait with Morris Graves, 1973
Imogen Cunningham, Self-Portrait with Morris Graves, 1973
Helmut Newton, Self-portrait during an electrocardiogram, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York 1973
Helmut Newton, Self-portrait during an electrocardiogram, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York 1973
Lee Friedlander, Self-portrait, Oregon, 1997
Lee Friedlander, Self-portrait, Oregon, 1997
Cecil Beaton, Self-Portrait with Mick Jagger, on the set of 'Performance' in Lowndes Square, 1968
Cecil Beaton, Self-Portrait with Mick Jagger, on the set of 'Performance' in Lowndes Square, 1968
Cecil Beaton, Self-Portrait with Mick Jagger, on the set of 'Performance' in Lowndes Square, 1968
Cecil Beaton, Self-Portrait with Mick Jagger, on the set of 'Performance' in Lowndes Square, 1968
Diane Arbus, Self-Portrait in mirror, 1945
Diane Arbus, Self-Portrait in mirror, 1945
Stanley Kubrick, Self-Portrait with showgirl Rosemary Williams 1948
Stanley Kubrick, Self-Portrait with showgirl Rosemary Williams 1948
André Kertész, Self-Portrait, Paris 1927
André Kertész, Self-Portrait, Paris 1927
Hunter S. Thompson, Self-Portrait, 1937
Hunter S. Thompson, Self-Portrait, 1937
Brassaï, Self-Portrait
Brassaï, Self-Portrait
Lee Friedlander , Self-portrait, 1997
Lee Friedlander , Self-portrait, 1997
Marianne Breslauer, Selfportrait, Berlin, 1933
Marianne Breslauer, Selfportrait, Berlin, 1933
Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1988
Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1988
Paolo Roversi, Self-Portrait
Paolo Roversi, Self-Portrait
Ed van der Elsken, Selfportrait with woman, 1971
Ed van der Elsken, Selfportrait with woman, 1971
Richard Avedon, Self-portrait with Twiggy, 1967
Richard Avedon, Self-portrait with Twiggy, 1967
Lotte Jacobi, Self-portrait, New York, 1937
Lotte Jacobi, Self-portrait, New York, 1937
Frédéric Boissonnas, Self-portrait, 1928
Frédéric Boissonnas, Self-portrait, 1928
Florence Henri, Self-portrait, 1928
Florence Henri, Self-portrait, 1928
Toni Frissell, Self-portrait with children, 1945
Toni Frissell, Self-portrait with children, 1945
Astrid Kirchherr, Self-portrait, 1960
Astrid Kirchherr, Self-portrait, 1960
Germaine Krull, Self-portrait, 1930
Germaine Krull, Self-portrait, 1930
Arnold Newman, Self-portrait, Philadelphie 1938
Arnold Newman, Self-portrait, Philadelphie 1938
Weegee, Self-portrait, 1940
Weegee, Self-portrait, 1940
Lisette Model, Self-portrait, 55 Manhattan, c. 1940
Lisette Model, Self-portrait, 55 Manhattan, c. 1940
Bill Brandt, Self Portrait with Mirror, East Sussex Coast, 1966
Bill Brandt, Self Portrait with Mirror, East Sussex Coast, 1966
Annie Leibovitz, Self-portrait, San Francisco, 1970
Annie Leibovitz, Self-portrait, San Francisco, 1970
Helga Paris, Self-portraits, 1981/ 1989
Helga Paris, Self-portraits, 1981/ 1989
Cecil Beaton and Greta Garbo, 1965
Cecil Beaton and Greta Garbo, 1965
Susanne Schapowalow, Self-portrait
Susanne Schapowalow, Self-portrait
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Self-Portrait in a Broken Mirror, 1914
Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, Self-Portrait in a Broken Mirror, 1914
Tom Palumbo and Anne Sainte-Marie, 1959
Tom Palumbo and Anne Sainte-Marie, 1959
Willy Ronis, Self-portrait with flash, Paris, 1951
Willy Ronis, Self-portrait with flash, Paris, 1951
Peter Keetman, Self-Portrait with Camera, ca. 1950
Peter Keetman, Self-Portrait with Camera, ca. 1950
Uwe Ommer, Self-Portrait, date unknown
Uwe Ommer, Self-Portrait, date unknown
Sally Mann, Self-portrait, 1974
Sally Mann, Self-portrait, 1974
Helmut Newton, Self Portrait with Wife and Models, Vogue Studio, Paris, 1981
Helmut Newton, Self Portrait with Wife and Models, Vogue Studio, Paris, 1981
Ilse Bing, Self Portrait in Mirrors, 1931
Ilse Bing, Self Portrait in Mirrors, 1931
E.O. Hoppe, Self-Portrait, 1910
E.O. Hoppe, Self-Portrait, 1910
Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Self-Portrait, 1973
Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Self-Portrait, 1973
Helmut Newton, Sleepless Nights, 1978
Helmut Newton, Sleepless Nights, 1978
Jeanloup Sieff, Self-Portrait, 1960
Jeanloup Sieff, Self-Portrait, 1960
René Groebli, The eye of Love, 1953
René Groebli, The eye of Love, 1953
Hannah Höch, Self-Portrait in her studio, ca 1930
Hannah Höch, Self-Portrait in her studio, ca 1930
André Kertész, Self-Portrait with friends, Hôtel des Terrasses, Paris, 1926
André Kertész, Self-Portrait with friends, Hôtel des Terrasses, Paris, 1926
Lee Miller with Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1944
Lee Miller with Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1944
Robert Doisneau, Self-Portrait,  1947
Robert Doisneau, Self-Portrait, 1947
Steven Meisel and Marisa Berenson, 2001
Steven Meisel and Marisa Berenson, 2001
Herman Leonard, date unknown
Herman Leonard, date unknown
Frank Horvat, Self-Portrait, 1956
Frank Horvat, Self-Portrait, 1956
Irving Penn, Self-Portrait, Cuzco Studio, 1948
Irving Penn, Self-Portrait, Cuzco Studio, 1948
Abe Frajndlich, date unknown
Abe Frajndlich, date unknown
Richard Avedon and Sophia Loren, NY 1966
Richard Avedon and Sophia Loren, NY 1966
Ed van der Elsken, Self-portrait with Ata Kandó, 1953
Ed van der Elsken, Self-portrait with Ata Kandó, 1953
Ugo Mulas, Self-portrait reflected on the work of art made by Michelangelo Pistoletto, “Vitalita del nageativo” in Rome, 1970
Ugo Mulas, Self-portrait reflected on the work of art made by Michelangelo Pistoletto, “Vitalita del nageativo” in Rome, 1970
Robert Capa, & John Steinbeck, Self portrait, 1947
Robert Capa, & John Steinbeck, Self portrait, 1947
Sue Ford, Self-portrait, 1974
Sue Ford, Self-portrait, 1974
Claude Cahun, Aveux non Avenus, 1930
Claude Cahun, Aveux non Avenus, 1930
Christer Strömholm, Self-portrait with Panama, 1968
Christer Strömholm, Self-portrait with Panama, 1968
Dennis Hopper, Self-portrait at porn stand, 1962
Dennis Hopper, Self-portrait at porn stand, 1962
Bert Stern, Self-Portrait with Marilyn Monroe, 1962
Bert Stern, Self-Portrait with Marilyn Monroe, 1962
Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portrait, 1889 Oil on canvas 0,65 x 0,54cm, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portrait, 1889 Oil on canvas 0,65 x 0,54cm, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Gustave Courbet, Autoportrait à la pipe, 1849, Musée Fabvre, Montpellier
Gustave Courbet, Autoportrait à la pipe, 1849, Musée Fabvre, Montpellier
Tintoret, Self-Porrait, 1587, oil on canvas, 61 x 51, Paris, Musée du Louvre
Tintoret, Self-Porrait, 1587, oil on canvas, 61 x 51, Paris, Musée du Louvre
Diego Velasquez, Self-Portrait, circa 1640, oil on canvas, 45,8 x 38 cm, Museo de Bellas Artes, Valence
Diego Velasquez, Self-Portrait, circa 1640, oil on canvas, 45,8 x 38 cm, Museo de Bellas Artes, Valence
Titien, Self-Portrait, c. 1562, oil on canvas, 86 x 65 cm, Madrid, Museo del Prado
Titien, Self-Portrait, c. 1562, oil on canvas, 86 x 65 cm, Madrid, Museo del Prado
Paul Gauguin, Autoportrait avec Manao Tupapau, 1893-94 oil on canvas - 46 x 38 cm Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Paul Gauguin, Autoportrait avec Manao Tupapau, 1893-94 oil on canvas - 46 x 38 cm Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986
Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1986
Gustave Loiseau, Self-Portrait, 1916
Gustave Loiseau, Self-Portrait, 1916
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Self-Portrait, 1818 oil on canvas, 77 x 61 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Self-Portrait, 1818 oil on canvas, 77 x 61 cm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Self-Portrait, 1875, oil on canvas, 39 x 31, Clark Institute
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Self-Portrait, 1875, oil on canvas, 39 x 31, Clark Institute
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