Self-portraits


       

Self-portrait with Wig by Pablo Picasso, 1900. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, MPB 110.053, Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1970 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016

Self-portrait by Pablo Picasso, 1899-1900. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, MPB 110.632, Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1970 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016

Self-portrait with Palette by Pablo Picasso, 1906. Philadelphia Museum of Art: A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1950 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016. Photograph and Digital Image © Philadelphia Museum of Art © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights


The largest concentration of Picasso’s self-portraits belongs to his early career. Exploiting the genre to examine his changing appearance and evolving personality and to experiment with style and technique, his approach was restlessly diverse. Picasso acquired the basic skills of portraiture from life when he was still in his early teens and his first self-portraits are in an unflattering, realist style modelled on that of the great Spanish seventeenth-century masters. His innate sense of drama emerged in self-portraits executed at the turn of the century. Picturing himself in different guises, Picasso explored his volatile moods and the tone of these works ranges from ironic humour to intense seriousness.