Self-Portrait at an Easel or Self-Portrait in the Studio is a cabinet-format portrait painted by Francisco de Goya around 1790-1795. The painting depicts the artist as vulnerable and fragile, presenting him as a commentary on Romantic artists. In this piece, Goya shows himself working on a large canvas, with a serious expression and focused gaze directed toward his own reflection in a small mirror. Critics argue about the exact dating of the portrait, but it remains one of Goya’s most famous self-portraits.
Goya was known for his passion for painting and his love of social occasions and drinking. His many self-portraits exhibit different styles, mediums, and techniques used throughout his career. In this particular work, Goya opts for a somber color palette with muted blues to highlight his introspective mood while blending himself into the background to emphasize his creative process.
Interestingly, despite being known primarily as an oil painter later in life due to suffering from deafness which forced him to isolate himself more extensively from society and thus from conventional portraiture work earlier in life he had been renowned for brilliance with pastels; it being said by some contemporary critics that no one could come close to capturing likeness quite like him through those mediums.
Overall, Self-Portrait at an Easel is compelling not only because it is one of Goya’s most famous works but also because it exemplifies what made him such an iconic artist – fearless experimentation paired with reflective observation within himself; evocatively portraying what could very well have been feelings any ambitious artist depicted in such self-conscious pieces may experience.