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Marsden Hartley

Self-Portrait
1908
crayon
12 1/16 x 8 15/16 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Robert Tyler Davis Memorial Fund

Marsden Hartley's Self-Portrait reveals an artist more interested in expressing inner vitality rather than outward appearance. The young Hartley depicts himself as a bundle of energy, confident in his draftsmanship and eager to break free from his traditional, academic training. The restless, dynamic lines suggest his reliance on intuition over reason, inspiration over observation.