Given that yesterday was what would have been famous portraitist (and self-portraitist) Andy Warhol‘s 83 birthday, we’ve been thinking a little bit about the long history of self-portraiture. Many artists’ first subjects are themselves, which makes some sense, considering the proximity and availability of one’s own face. Often artists’ self portraits differ greatly from the rest of their work, but some trade almost exclusively in the form. Like anything else, the mediums and methods vary widely, but all are fascinating in that they attempt to show an inner part of the artist more directly than any representation of an outside subject could. With that in mind, click through for our very incomplete (how could it not be?) visual history of self-portraiture, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite pieces in the comments!
Jan van Eyck, 1433 (the disputed earliest surviving panel self-portrait)
Albrecht Dürer, 1500
Leonardo da Vinci, 1515
Peter Paul Rubens, 1623