Self-Portrait

Media - 1983.46.7 - SAAM-1983.46.7_1 - 7081
Copied Claude Buck, Self-Portrait, 1919, oil on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Claude Buck, 1983.46.7

Artwork Details

Title
Self-Portrait
Artist
Date
1919
Dimensions
13 5814 in. (34.535.7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Claude Buck
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Occupation — art — artist
  • Portrait male — Buck, Charles Claude — self-portrait
  • Portrait male — Buck, Charles Claude — bust
Object Number
1983.46.7

Artwork Description

Claude Buck painted many self-portraits, often because he couldn’t afford a model. He was inspired by the work of classical artists, and in this work the subdued, golden colors and heavy varnish evoke an old-master painting. The dreamy landscape and moonlit sky create a romantic setting for the portrait, expressing Buck’s idealism as a young artist beginning his career. The figure looks back over his shoulder with an intense gaze, as if he is taking one last glimpse of the world behind him before setting off on an unknown journey. Even though his technique is very conservative, Buck’s decision to paint a wide-eyed figure whose head almost fills the canvas makes the image much more confrontational than a traditional portrait.