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SELF PORTRAIT: Painting the Soul of the Artists

The portrait of an artist provides us with an opportunity to have a virtual meeting with the artist. If the portrait is painted by the artist himself or herself, meaning it is a self portrait, it generates a special type of curiosity in the viewers’ eyes. Once we look at a portrait of an artist, we feel thrilled knowing that we are before the stalwart painters like Leonardo da Vinci or Pablo Picasso. We can observe how they dressed and how they lived; and from that we can arrive at some conclusions regarding how they were different from the others living around them. We can have a guess about their life style and the bank balances, too. Here are some self portraits.

Here the master artist Van Gogh uses his well-established technique of presenting the strain of the emotion. And for that the painter had used short strokes of brushes, depicting the tension the artist was feeling inside of him and the releasing the same through the skill of the brush.

In this self portrait Vincent Van Gogh has put the focal point of the painting on his beard. Strangely enough, he had used red for the beard, creating the full-blown tension in the middle of the frame. There after the tones of the colours subdue for tense to somewhat released and finally the tension looks ending in the corners of the frame where the colours are in their palest hue.


This painting is titled as Artists in His Studio, showing Rembrandt himself standing at a distance from his painting. Starting from the bright colour area of the floor; our eyes moves from the frame of painting to the artist. The relative sizes of the painting and Rembrandt’s figure radiate one message like most of the paintings done by the master artists do. Here the message is that the art is always bigger than the artists. Rembrandt was known for making a compassionate leap of imagination in showing thoughtful privacy of the models. Here he himself was model.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 - 1919) was a French painter, leading the impressionis movement. The painters paint with colours, while Renoir used 'emotions' as one of his colours; his speaking paintings are the witness of this fact. Like other impresionists Renoir also used unusual tonal colors to stir up moods and impressions. Under influence of Impressionism, the recreation of objective reality was nealry discouraged and was almost replaced by the practice of developing subjective response to a piece of work to actual experience. Fine Arts generally, found this theory of impressionism more suitable for its somewhat blur and sometime vague objects. The impressionist painters told many things by reflecting light and incomplete forms, crafted through quick range of short strokes of pure and bright colors they kept in their palates

Bruegel (1525 – 1559) was a Renaissance painter who lived and worked in Netherland. He did marvellos landscapes, but was known for his peasant scene, the genre paintings. he tried depicting the daily activities of the common people: the labourers, the artisans, blacksmith, woodsmith, shoemaker and all. He is the poineer of 'Genre Painting' Movement, making the art of painting the art of common people instead of the royal men and women.


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