Self-Portrait

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.

Self-portrait, oil on board, © 2015 Petra Terslova

Self-portrait, oil on board, © 2015 Petra Terslova

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/

Self – Portrait, Oil on board, 30cm x 40cm, © 2015 Petra Terslova

Self-portrait, oil on board, © 2015 Petra Terslova

Self-portrait, oil on board, © 2015 Petra Terslova

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