Triple Self-Portrait (1960) by Norman Rockwell

Triple Self-Portrait - Norman Rockwell - 1960

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Artwork Information

TitleTriple Self-Portrait
ArtistNorman Rockwell
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions44 1/2 x 34 3/4 in.
Art MovementRegionalism
Current LocationThe Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge

About Triple Self-Portrait

The artwork “Triple Self-Portrait” was created by Norman Rockwell in 1960. It is an oil on canvas painting, measuring 44 1/2 x 34 3/4 inches and belongs to the Regionalism art movement. As the genre suggests, it is a self-portrait. The artwork is currently housed at The Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge.

In “Triple Self-Portrait,” Rockwell presents an intricate and whimsical exploration of identity and self-perception. The artwork features the artist from behind, seated on a wooden stool, as he paints his own likeness on a blank canvas. Rockwell, characterized by his trademark pipe, is portrayed in the process of studying his reflection in a mirror that is not directly visible to the viewer. This mirror is implied by the angle at which he observes himself and the corresponding reflection seen on the canvas.

The canvas that Rockwell is painting on displays a nearly completed portrait; the brush in his hand suggests the ongoing nature of the work. The easel holding the canvas bears a number of illustrations and photographs pinned to its frame, including reproductions of a caricature self-portrait by Albrecht Dürer, a portrait by Rembrandt, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh, and the classic self-portrait of a smiling clown. These small reproductions introduce questions of artistic lineage and influence.

The humorous touch is seen in the discrepancy between the illustrated portrait’s robust and confident expression and the somewhat more measured and analytical expression on Rockwell’s face as he paints. Details such as the ornate golden helmet perched atop the easel and the tattered state of the artist’s trouser seat contribute to a playful self-deprecating narrative. This blend of realism and fictionalized elements creates a layered portrayal of the self, encapsulating Rockwell’s skilled rendering and his ability to tell a story through a single image.

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