Self portrait | Anselm Feuerbach | 1873

Self portrait | Anselm Feuerbach | 1873

Self portrait | Anselm Feuerbach | 1873

The nephew of the philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach was recognized as the leader of the classicist movement in 19th century Germany. As we have seen in previous posts, the movement tried to imitate the classical ideal of perfection of ancient Roman and Greek painting. Feuerbach was also influenced by the work of the Italian masters of the High Renaissance, who studied in detail.

Most of his work consists of classical portraits, but he also worked huge canvases and compositions, such as The Battle of the Amazons. In the same year, Feuerbach painted his portrait. In it, we see an extremely dull painting, almost completely absent of color, which is present only in the skin of the face and in the eyes. The portrait presents Feuerbach as a noble and austere man. The neat mustache demands respect. The curiosity of this work is the position taken by the artist’s head: although it’s a classic 3/4 portrait, Feuerbach turns his head left as if he is looking at something over his shoulder. While the model of the 3/4 portraits are usually passive, the artist here seems to be thinking while staring at something. The painting makes us wonder what Feuerbach was thinking at that time and, thus, puts us as active spectators in front of the canvas.

~ by Álvaro Mazzino on April 25, 2012.

2 Responses to “Self portrait | Anselm Feuerbach | 1873”

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