The Art of Self-Portraiture
Vincent Van Gogh, a master of self-portraiture, used portrait painting as a method of introspection. It is best expressed in a letter to his sister:
“I am looking for a deeper likeness than that obtained by a photographer.” Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Wilhelmina van Gogh. Written Summer/fall 1887 in Paris.
Later Gogh wrote to his brother Theo “People say, and I am willing to believe it, that it is hard to know yourself. But it is not easy to paint yourself, either. The portraits painted by Rembrandt are more than a view of nature, they are more like a revelation”. Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 25 July 1888 in Arles.
Looking in the Mirror
My first self-portrait painted from life. I believe that painting a self-portrait by using a mirror enables me to capture my inner likeness better than using a photo.
Thus, in the picture above, I purposely worked from a mirror. In this head-and-shoulders view, I am wearing a red shirt which I usually work in. My eyes are observing myself in the mirror. My face seems to be a little strict as I focus my attention fully on the painting.
This work is available at http://www.petraterslova.com/art-gallery-shop/