Self-portrait (1938) by Emily Carr

Self-portrait - Emily Carr - 1939

Artwork Information

ArtistEmily Carr
MediumOil on wove paper, mounted on plywood
Dimensions85.5 x 57.7 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationNational Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

About Self-portrait

The artwork titled “Self-portrait” was created by the artist Emily Carr in 1939. This oil painting on wove paper, mounted on plywood, is a personal depiction by Carr, rendering her own image with an expressive fluency aligned with the Post-Impressionist movement. Measuring 85.5 cm by 57.7 cm, this intimate self-representation is part of the collection at the National Gallery of Canada, located in Ottawa.

This self-portrait shows the artist with clarity and directness. Carr is pictured against a backdrop of ambiguous, undulating forms that suggest a natural setting without specific details, perhaps reflecting her well-known affinity for landscapes and the environment of her native British Columbia. Her figure occupies a significant portion of the artwork, with her body turned slightly to the side while her gaze meets the viewer squarely, suggesting a sense of confrontation and self-examination. Carr’s use of bold, dynamic brushstrokes provides texture and depth to the painting, characteristic of the Post-Impressionist style, which sought to convey emotion and symbolic meaning beyond the direct representation of subjects. The color palette is subdued yet rich, hinting at an introspective mood and the artist’s nuanced understanding of her own character and presence.

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