(in chronological order)
Self-portrait as an Ecce Homo, c.1500
Leonardo da Vinci:
Rembrandt van Rijn:
Vincent van Gogh:
Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889
Self-portrait with glass of champagne, 1919
The broken column (Self-portrait), 1944
oil on panel, Munich, Alte Pinakothek
In addition of being the unquestionable genius of the German Renaissance, and one of the most important artists of the whole History of Art, Albrecht Dürer is the first master of the self-portrait. Dürer pictured himself in numerous paintings and drawings, the first of them created when he was only 13 years old. After this early work he created masterpieces like the self-portrait exhibited at the Louvre, in which Dürer depicted himself as a young, self-confident and proud artist, a role accentuated in the famous self-portrait (1498) exhibited at the Prado Museum in Madrid, in which the German artist combined the portrait with a beautiful landscape seen through a window.
The “self-portrait as Ecce Homo” in Munich is arguably the most developed of all the self-portraits painted by Dürer. While at first glance the fact of portraying himself as Jesus Christ could be interpreted as an act of self-idolatry, it should be noticed that the image of the Ecce Homo is the quintessential representation of pain and suffering. Humanity as a symbol and essence of the artist.