Why Do Artists Paint Self-portraits

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Why Do Artists Paint Self-portraits
Why Do Artists Paint Self-portraits

Self-portrait is an amazing genre. The works of artists in which they depict themselves usually attract the interest of exhibition visitors. Why does an artist want to paint himself? The answer to this question is unlikely to be unambiguous.

Sometimes an artist wants to paint himself
Sometimes an artist wants to paint himself

When there was no photograph

The art of photography is only two centuries old. Before his appearance, the only way to leave the descendants with the memory of how this or that person looked was a portrait made by the artist. The wealthiest people ordered portraits from famous sculptors or painters. But the portraitist wanted to leave a memory of himself. Then he sat in front of the mirror and painted himself. The desire to leave memory is one of the answers to the question why artists paint self-portraits.

A means of self-expression

Psychologists to this day are trying to understand what makes a person take up a brush or pencil, at what moment there is a desire to convey his vision of the world on canvas. Sometimes such an impulse arises unexpectedly even for the person himself. He seeks to express his attitude to the world, to convey his vision, and the genre of self-portrait is perhaps the most suitable for this. The artist conveys not only his appearance, but also some of his features, which are usually hidden from prying eyes.

Familiar nature

Before drawing something, the artist usually carefully examines the object. He carefully examines objects for a still life, composes a composition of them. It determines the point from which the most beautiful view of the forest and the river opens. He talks with the person he wants to portray on canvas, seeks to find out his past, occupation, hobbies. But there is an object the artist knows best - himself. The urge to paint what is most familiar is the second reason why artists sometimes paint self-portraits.

Make a dream come true

Some people tend to imagine themselves in various fantastic situations. They can mentally move in time and space, move to fabulous worlds, surround themselves with objects that they will never have in real life. Among such dreamers, there are also artists. The ability to place yourself in an unusual landscape or interior, to see how it will look, is another reason why artists sometimes pay attention to the genre of self-portrait.

An object that is always near

This reason is typical for novice artists mastering the basics of academic drawing. The artist himself is the object on which you can practice endlessly, mastering the laws of perspective, methods of transmitting chiaroscuro under different types of lighting and other artistic wisdom. No one will be dissatisfied, an unsuccessful portrait can simply be thrown away or hidden away from eyes. But this reason is less significant than the desire to leave future generations a memory of their appearance or make a dream come true.

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