(in chronological order)

Albrecht Dürer:
Self-portrait as an Ecce Homo, c.1500

Leonardo da Vinci:
Self-portrait, c.1512

Rembrandt van Rijn:
Self-portrait, 1659

Vincent van Gogh:
Self-portrait with bandaged ear, 1889

Pablo Picasso:
Self-portrait, 1901

Egon Schiele:
Self-portrait, 1911

Max Beckmann:
Self-portrait with glass of champagne, 1919

Frida Kahlo:
The broken column (Self-portrait), 1944

Francis Bacon:
Self-portrait, 1971

Jean-Michelle Basquiat:
Self-portrait, 1982


“Self-portrait as the Ecce Homo”, c.1500

oil on panel, Munich, Alte Pinakothek

Albert Dürer: “Self-portrait as the Ecce Homo”, c.1500

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.


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