Self-portrait (c.1645) by Diego Velazquez

Self-portrait - Diego Velazquez - c.1645

Artwork Information

ArtistDiego Velazquez
Dimensions104 x 83 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationUffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

About Self-portrait

The artwork titled “Self-portrait” is a creation by the acclaimed artist Diego Velazquez, dating back to approximately 1645. It is an oil painting on canvas that embodies the Baroque art movement, renowned for its dramatic expression and rich detail. The self-portrait measures 104 by 83 centimeters and is presently housed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. As a genre, the piece falls under the category of self-portraiture, a common avenue for artists to explore their own identity and craftsmanship.

In the artwork, Velázquez presents himself with great dignity and restraint, characteristic of portraiture from this time. His gaze confronts the viewer directly, suggesting a sense of confidence and self-awareness. The artist’s face is lit with soft, natural light emphasising the texture of his skin and the depth of his expression. Velázquez is dressed in somber clothing; the black garb with sharp, white, decorative collars grants the work an air of elegance and simplicity.

The background of the painting is subdued, consisting mainly of neutral tones that provide a contrast to the figure, thereby drawing more attention to the artist himself. There is an impression of depth in the artwork, inviting the audience into Velázquez’s personal space, an intimate setting for a self-portrait. The masterful use of light and shadow exemplifies the Baroque era’s fascination with chiaroscuro, which brings a three-dimensional quality to the depiction.

This portrayal is not only a study of personal likeness but also serves as a testament to Velázquez’s expert skillset in painting. The rendering of textures, particularly in the artist’s clothing, and his lifelike representation of his own features, underscore his virtuosity as one of the most significant artists of the Baroque period.

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