Self-Portrait with a Visor

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

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

Date:

c. 1776

Artist:

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.

On View

Prints and Drawings, Gallery 216

Artist

Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin

Title

Self-Portrait with a Visor

Origin

France

Date

1771–1781

Medium

Pastel on blue laid paper, mounted on canvas

Dimensions

457 × 374 mm

Credit Line

Clarence Buckingham Collection and the Harold Joachim Memorial Fund

Reference Number

1984.61

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 .

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