|Me in 2008, at the beginning of my selfie habit|
|Me, a couple of weeks ago|
|John Everett Millais (1847)|
|J E Millais in 1883|
|Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Good Lord!)|
|Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1861)|
Rossetti's self portraits give the impression of a more private audience than Millais was expecting. Possibly the sketch-quality of Rossetti's portraits gave the impression that he intended the pictures for an intimate circle, as mementos of him. Millais', especially the latter image, are public pictures, an official image of the artist.
|Ford Madox Brown (1877)|
|Frederic Leighton (1880)|
|Ralph Headley (1895)|
|Lovis Corinth (1914)|
|Self Portrait with his wife and a glass of champagne (1902)|
|Elizabeth Siddal (1853-4)|
|Sarah Harrison (1900)|
|Zinaida Serebrjakova (1909)|
|Alvin Coburn (1905)|
|Maxwell Armfield (1901)|
The nuanced difference between portraiture and self portraiture may be slight at times. If someone has a say in what image is taken of them, is shown of them, then in a way the only difference becomes the display of talent. A self portrait is control of image, a parcelling up of what people will get from you. Are you serious? Are you precise? Are you a big letch and a drinker? All can be shown. The colour, the shadow, the background, dress, undress - all tell you something of the person you are buying into either ideologically or literally. With Armfield you are buying an aesthetic young man with dandyish tendencies, with Leighton you are buying the establishment. So what do I want you to buy into with my image?
I'm not sure, but it will probably be different next week....