|A Desperate Man, 1846, Gustave Courbet--been there, done that.|
|Norman Rockwell's rather impish|
self-portrait. We're left wondering
if he purposely left it unfinished.
|Leopold Boilly Self-portrait |
(detail from a group portrait).
|Surprise, Leopold Boilly.|
(Oh, my goodness.)
|Andy Warhol Self-portrait, 1977|
Then there are artists such as Leopold Boilly who seems to have delighted in drawing his funny face from a mirror (above). He's hilarious. Rembrandt did two or three rather humorous self-depictions (below). Warhol's variety (right) were, I think sometimes meant to be very serious, but were, inadvertently funny because he was trying to be so serious. Norman Rockwell had such a sense of humor that it, in one way or another, permeated, nearly everything he did. His unfinished self-portrait (top, left) seems to suggest that he considered himself a "work in progress." Ain't we all.
|Rembrandt Self-portrait, 1629|
|Rembrandt Self-portrait (etching), 1630|
|Damned Soul, 1619,|
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
The famous Baroque sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini painted dozens of self-portraits, most of them of the decidedly unfunny variety mentioned earlier. However artists have long realized that the best and most convenient model for facial expressions (especially the unusual sort) is, in fact, themselves with the aid of a mirror. Rockwell's most famous self-portrait demonstrates this. Bernini used his own grimacing face as a model in sculpting two of this most famous works, his Damned Soul (above, right), and the determined look of intense concentration on the face of his David (above, left). Taken out of context, both are quite amusing, especially in that such "funny looks" are exceedingly rare in sculpture. It's said that Bernini deliberately burned his hand to elicit, if only for an instant, the look of desperate horror on the face of his Damned Soul. His David expression was presumably less painful.
|Joshua Reynolds, Self-portrait, 1748, before the "Sir" was added.|
|Caravaggio as a Sick|
In the less intense, "somewhat amusing" category, Sir Joshua Reynolds (above) paints himself as a very young (almost childlike) man shading his eyes in a charmingly honest depiction reminiscent of some of Rembrandt's serious and "not-so-serious" self-portraits. Also painting himself as a young dude, Caravaggio simply uses his face as a convenient model dressed as a "sick" Bacchus (1594), a role he probably knew well. This undoubtedly made for something of an inside joke--one his close friends must have found LOL funny.
|Premonition, 1972, Salvador Dali. Intentional or inadvertent humor.|
|Big Self-portrait, 1968, Chuck Close|
(A close second place in the funny self-portrait category goes to the French artist, Joseph Ducreux as seen below).
|Joseph Ducreux Self-portrait, 1793. I've never heard of the artist, |
never seen his work. I don't know the man, but I have the feeling I'd have like to.