Self-Portrait of the Artist

An untidy history of artists' representations of themselves in pretty much any form you can think of (painting & sculpture, poetry & prose, photo & film…) — updated every third day and open for suggestions.

Tag: Dutch

The artist has an unheimlich descendant.


Three hundred and sixty-six years before Hugo Williams’ ‘Last poem‘, Pieter Claesz‘s Vanitas with violin and glass ball (ca 1628) combines a classic Dutch seventeenth-century vanitas with a self-portrait.

(The violin’s music that cannot be heard is particularly relevant to Williams’ tongue that will not speak.)

The artist at work can be seen in the glass ball, which flaunts Van Eyck and Parmigianino‘s convex mirrors amongst its notable predecessors, and claims a Still-life with a spherical mirror (1934) by M. C. Escher, the drawing Dutchman, as its unheimlich descendant.



The artist turns into his painting.


The first step is Piet Mondrian‘s first self-portrait, painted around 1900, and still quite traditional.


The second step is the Zelfportret from 1918. Here Mondrian is posing in front of a neo-plasticist painting in the style of the previous year, when the De Stijl movement and its journal were founded.


Finally, in this ink, charcoal and gouache drawing (1942) the artist and his style have merged. Piet Mondrian has turned into his art.