Self Portrait


Camille Pissarro ( French, 1830 - 1903 )

c. 1898
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General Description

One of only four self-portraits by Camille Pissarro, this three-quarter-length likeness was created during a particularly sorrowful time in the artist's life. In 1897, one of Pissarro's sons suffered a stroke and another died from tuberculosis. Additionally, he was plagued with the worsening of a chronic eye infection that forced him to paint indoors. Although this painting is unfinished, it is the first self-portrait he painted in twenty-five years and may represent a moment of introspection following these hardships.

Pissarro, considered a father figure among many of the impressionists, presents himself as both a creative artist and wise advisor with his drooping beret, oversized smock, biblical beard, and somber expression. He painted this self-portrait in the same room as Place du Théâtre, Franҫais, Fog Effect (1985.R.50), and the same Parisian rooftops are visible through the window.

Excerpt from

Heather MacDonald, DMA label copy, 2015.

Related Multimedia

Biography of Camille Pissarro read by Heather MacDonald
Pissarro's self portrait in the Reves collection is described, 1985.R.44; DMA Collection

Web Resources