Edouard Manet - Self-portrait with skull-cap 1878

Self-portrait with skull-cap 1878
Self-portrait with skull-cap
1878 94x63cm oil/canvas
Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

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From Bridgestone Museum of Art:
Manet created many splendid portraits, but only two self-portraits are known. Here we have a dignified full-length self portrait; the artist stands, hands in his pockets, one foot forward, in a dramatic contrast with the dark background. From it we comprehend the artist's sense of self and his pride. From the penetrating discernment of his gaze to his pinkish cheeks and ears, as though he is blushing, the face has been depicted meticulously. Manet's brushwork is coarser and bolder on the jacket and trousers. The hands and jacket clearly have areas left unpainted. At the time this portrait was painted, it was regarded as highly important, in traditional painting, to leave no brushstrokes visible in a finished work. Manet, however, did not care about giving his paintings a clean finish. His style, in which he dared to leave brushstrokes visible and areas of the canvas unpainted, influenced both the Impressionists and Vincent van Gogh.