Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


see portraitureportraiture,
the art of representing the physical or psychological likeness of a real or imaginary individual. The principal portrait media are painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. From earliest times the portrait has been considered a means to immortality.
..... Click the link for more information.



a portrait of an artist executed by himself (for the most part with the aid of one of several mirrors). In a self-portrait, the artist directly expresses his own self-knowledge and evaluation of his own personality, his creative principles. In many self-portraits, the unity of individual and social principles—the artist’s sense of the involvement of his fate with that of generations and classes and with the rise and fall of art—is embodied with great acuity. Often, however, the artist portrays himself only as the most available model for various artistic searches and experiments. Self-portraits were already known among ancient (Phidias) and medieval artists (the 14th-century sculptors Avram of Novgorod and P. Parler in Bohemia). Painters of the early Italian Rennaissance (Masaccio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Botticelli) often introduced their own protraits into narrative religious compositions. The self-portrait, as a variety of the portrait genre, took form in the 16th century. In the art of the High Renaissance (Raphael, A. Diirer), it expresses the increased social significance of the artist—his self-affirmation; in the art of mannerism—reticence, the instability of the artist’s inner world engendered by the crisis in Renaissance ideals. Finally, the most prominent painters of the late Renaissance (Titian, Tintoretto) disclose to the viewer the dramatic fate of the creative personality defending its spiritual independence. This psychological tension is developed in the self-portraits-confessions of the 17th century where the social aspect of the artist, his relation to the world and society, and his highly dignified position as a fighter for his own convictions is often revealed (N. Pous-sin, P. P. Rubens, and especially Rembrandt, the creator of a series of self-portraits unparalleled in diversity and psychological depth). Self-portraits of the 18th century (J. B. Chardin, J. Reynolds, F. I. Shubin) for the most part transfer the artist into intimate work or domestic surroundings, emphasizing the intellectual efforts of creation, the vigilance of analyzing vision. The prominent artists of the 19th century (J. David, P. O. Runge, O. A. Kiprenskii, G. Courbet, I. N. Kramskoi) not only assert the value of the creative personality and its rich spiritual life, but also see in themselves the embodiment of the typical aspirations of their generation and their social class. On the brink of the 20th century, self-portraits were often chosen for the expression of the personal outlook, the artist’s own pictorially plastic conception (P. Cezanne), his internal spiritual expression (V. Van Gogh, M. A. Vrubel’). In the progressive realistic art of the 20th century (K. Kollwitz, D. Rivera, R. Guttuso) including Soviet art (S. T. Konenkov, M. S. Sar’ian, P. P. Konchalovskii), the best self-portraits express the unity of the personal and the public, the artist’s realization of his social significance.


Gesser, M. Das Selbstbildnis. Zürich, 1961.
References in periodicals archive ?
If Self-Portrait is out of your price range, here are four gorgeous lace dresses to help you get the celeb look for
This month's Art Print can be described as an environmental self-portrait because the artist presents herself in her studio surrounded by her works of art.
Hong Wei's investigation of the self-portrait in ceramic material as a manifestation of contemporary art and life is a bridge between East and West as well as a bridge between tradition and the urgency of the present moment.
3), and Thomas Patch's etched Self-Portrait as an Ox (1768-69).
The variety of functions of a portrait or self-portrait is intriguing.
Winslet organized the collection of self-portrait photos for the book titled "The Golden Hat" after becoming inspired by an HBO documentary she narrated called "A Mother's Courage: Talking Back To Autism" that aired last year, reports the New York Daily News.
The merits of this are clear in the Ruth Borchard Collection of 20th-Century self-portraits which goes on show today at the Durham Art Gallery, Aykley Heads.
In art history the painting is sensational for yet another reason: it is the first naked self-portrait by a woman.
A self-portrait by Doherty, signed in blood, also went under the hammer but a buyer could not be found.
The rare self-portrait triptych has not been seen in public since it was bought by the present owner a year after it was painted in 1975.
This necessity to explore and express metaphysical experiences is at the heart of Romanticism and Francisco Goya's painting Self-Portrait with Dr.