Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

Self-Portrait with a Visor

Portrait of a man wearing glasses, pink and white scarf, and blue visor.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • Portrait of a man wearing glasses, pink and white scarf, and blue visor.


c. 1776


Jean-Siméon Chardin
French, 1699-1779

About this artwork

Over a century after its creation, the French novelist Marcel Proust said of Jean-Siméon Chardin’s audacious self-portrait, “This old oddity is so intelligent, so crazy … above all, so much of an artist.” In a fitting finale to a long, successful career as a painter of still lifes and genre scenes, Chardin turned in his last decade to a new medium, pastel, and to a new subject matter, portraits (primarily self-portraits). Eye problems arising from lead-based oil paint poisoning were the partial cause of this dramatic change. Of his thirteen extant pastel self-portraits, the most famous are versions of the example seen here, with the casually dressed, aging artist in his studio. A virtuoso colorist, the septuagenarian here revealed a joyously free stroke and palette. Nonetheless, the construction of the figure is solid and rigorous, adding to his powerful presence. This composition was created at the same time as a portrait of the artist’s wife for the 1775 Salon (Musée du Louvre, Paris). A year later, Chardin—with greater daring—replicated the pair. These later portraits were separated for almost two hundred years, until they were reunited in the collection of the Art Institute.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin


Self-Portrait with a Visor


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Pastel on blue laid paper, mounted on canvas


45.7 × 37.4 cm (18 × 14 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection and the Harold Joachim Memorial Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions