Painting through ages has been the preferred mode of expression for mankind. Modern art painting in keeping with this tradition continues to focus on mankind's inherent urge for peace and tranquility in this increasingly fragmented world.
The word portrait in visual art refers to the creative representation of a person. When an artist makes a portrait for himself it is called a self-portrait. Self portraits can be in charcoal, pastel, pencil, watercolor and acrylics. The earliest self-portrait in paint was made by the French artist Jean Fouquet. Self portrait painting is not always about narcissism. When one draws a self portrait the face becomes the mirror to the soul. Self portraits set in motion a process of self discovery. Artists often become addicted to making self portraits because of the sheer joy and challenge it offers. One finds truth in the statement when Bridgetbrow says, “If you cannot capture the essence of your own self, how are you to capture the essence of someone else?”
Classification of self-portrait painting
According to the art critic Galena Vasilyeyv Shlyapina the following are the various forms of self-portrait painting
Some of the key characteristics of modern art paintings have been enlisted below-
- Professional portraits-In this type the artist is portrayed at work.
- Personal portraits- Personal portraits focus on moral and psychological features.
- Insertable self-portrait- In insertable self-portrait the artist inserts his own portrait into a group
- Prestigious self-portrait- In prestigious/symbolic self portrait the artist portrays himself to be in the guise of a historical or religious hero.
- Separate or natural self portrait- In separate or natural self-portrait painting the artist is portrayed aloneNoted modern art painters- Some of the noted modern art painters are:
- Marcel Duchamp
- Maria Helena Vieira da Silva
- Jean Dubuffet
- Anselm Kiefer
- Edgar Degas
Famous self-portrait artists- Some of the luminaries in the world of self portrait painting are-
It was primarily the desire for self-representation that prompted the artists to paint self-portraits . In this technology driven world, the Internet has made the art of self-representation an easier task. It takes only a few minutes to upload personal photographs. Technological innovations may have changed over the years but the desire for self-representation remains inherently embedded in the human psyche and it is perhaps this desire for self-representation that will decide the future growth and development of self portrait painting.