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Arty selfies

I don’t need to introduce what selfie is I suppose. The internet is full of it. There are people who are addicted taking it at and sharing it too. Today I want to show you the arty selfies or self-portraits paintings and drawings. Like selfies who are taken by the one in it, self-portrait  paintings and drawings are made by the artists who are on them, themselves.

This is perhaps one of the most well-known arty selfies of all time. Self-portrait drawing of Leonardo da Vinci. 

Drawing, red chalk on paper

Nowadays taking selfie is made easier by the camera attached on our smartphone, with or without timer and selfiestick. The camera itself was invented by Johann Zahn in 1685. Approximately 130 later the first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1814. Before that artists used a mirror to paint/draw themselves. Imagine how hard it was to keep the same pose and at the same time making the sketch. And compare it to selfies taken in the bathroom nowadays 🙂

Here are some of my favourite self-portraits from diverse periods and styles. Albrecht Dürer was the first known painter who created self-portrait. This is painted in 1500.

Oil painting

There are not so many data of self-portraits before Dürer’s. Da Vinci’s self-portrait is was made in 1510. Artists then were like photographers now. They captured and immortalized their clients by painting or drawing it. And then they made their self-portraits too. 

Vincent van Gogh is famous not only for his Sunflowers and Potato eaters but also for his self-portraits. He produced 40 arty selfies varying from oil paintings to drawings. Van Gogh immortalized himself through self-portrait made in various periods of his life. We see Van Gogh the young one, with straw hat, with bandaged ear or earnsty looking. Van Gogh self-portraits show a man with tormented soul. Just look at his piercing blue eyes.  

Oil painting 1889

Another emotional self-portrait is from Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Her self-portraits display her suffering and pain. Kahlo was hit by a bus which caused her severe injuries. Her undergoing 35 operations and experiencing three miscarriages is vividly displayed in her self-portraits.  

Oil painting 1941

Frida Kahlo didn’t compromise to dominating beauty standards. This is how she looks like on her many self-portraits. Apparently this is how she saw herself with adjoining eye brows and a mustache. 

This one is a self-portrait of Raden Saleh. He was believed to be the first painter from Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) who painted in European style, romantic style. This self-portrait is collection of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Oil painting 1815

This is self-portrait of Raden Saleh’s influencer, French painter Eugène Delacroix. Delacroix was one of the maestros in romantic style.

Oil painting 1837

Self-portrait of Berthe Morisot, French female impressionist. She was married to Edouard Manet’s brother, Eugène.

Oil painting 1885

An intense self-portrait of Spanish impressionist, Joaquín Sorolla. He emphasized this master technique understanding the light.

Oil painting 1909

This array of arty selfies ends with a self-portrait of young Rembrandt van Rijn. He was 22 years old here.

Oil painting 1628

Similar to Van Gogh, Rembrandt made quite a number of self-portraits both paintings and drawings. What a talent he had in such young age!

I need to end this post otherwise it would be too long. Tell me, what do you think of these arty selfies?


All self-portraits are taken from WikiArt. They fall under public domain.

31 thoughts on “Arty selfies

  1. I immensely enjoyed this post! Love the idea! Well done on gathering all those charming “selfies” from the artsy world of painters 🙂

  2. Great take on an artsy selfies mbak! I love Frida’s works too. I think she portrays a very strong woman figure. She’s inspirational.

  3. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artist! I love the colors and the surrounding of each of her paintings. The Raden Saleh one is stunning, too! This is my first time seeing him in a painting. Nice post, Mbak Yo!

  4. dari semua selfi di sini paling kukenal cuma selfie van Gogh.., kalau pelukis Indonesia selfi dari Affandi..

  5. oot, btw minggu lalu aku posting tentang lukisan asli atau palsu, karena di trotoar ada lihat lukisan dengan gaya maestro Indonesia Hendra Gunawan, 2 hari lalu lihat di tempat sama lukisannya ganti, kurasa yg jadi obyeknya Afandi (pakai cangklong soalnya)

    just wonder kenapa lukisan2 yg tak umum itu dipajang di pinggir jalan

  6. Wow, those paintings are masterpieces. I wonder how could they do that? Did they use a mirror to reflect their faces and then made paintings based on it, looking back and forth?
    Of all those painters, I only know Da Vinci and Raden Saleh. I’m curious in visiting Raden Saleh’s grave, I’m sure that he has a number of stories to be told, about his life, his career, and his death :)).

    • Mungkin kalo selfienya jujur ya waktu itu tapi kalo gambar portret orang yang bayar mahal mereka, banyak permintaan untuk photoshop manual (buat si model lebih langsing etc. ;-))

  7. I’m still an ordinary admirer of painting but can’t go deeper with the painter’s messages, rarely. Mbak, how can you tell that Frida Kahlo impersonates her downs on the painting? Maybe his way I could learn 🙂

    • Knowing the story about the painter/artist and the story of when the art work is made helps to know more about the art work.

      Like Vincent van Gogh’s selfies. There are 40 of them. He painted them in various times of his life. Van Gogh was said to be a bipolar. Some selfies are from his Manic and some of his depressive times. Just look at the colours and brush strokes, you’d know.

  8. Pingback: Food porn in the Golden Age | Chez Lorraine

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