Umberto Boccioni painted the Self-Portrait in his Milan studio in 1908. The painting explores the landscape around the outskirts of Milan, showcasing Boccioni’s love for his city. Unlike his mature Futurism style, Boccioni’s brushwork is relatively softer in tone, displaying a more traditional artistic approach.
The painting occupies a special place in Boccioni’s work portfolio as he cherished it and did not sell it while he was alive. It offers an insight into the artist’s earlier works before delving into Futurism movement that became synonymous with his name. Given that this artwork predates his influence on this avant-garde movement, it reflects a more conservative form of art compared to late Futurist work.
Though self-portraits are very popular among artists, this particular painting reveals much more than just a likeness or representation of the artist himself. Its focus on the surrounding landscape suggests how passionate Boccioni was about nature and its influence upon him as an artist. Overall, Self-Portrait exudes elements of traditional artistic expression that have grown increasingly scarce in contemporary art over time.