In 1887 Carrière painted the first of at least ten self-portraits, all executed in the artist's characteristic misty, monochromatic technique of carefully nuanced umber tones. The present example was painted about 1893, when it was purchased by the American collector Harris Whittemore, probably at the advice of Mary Cassatt's father.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Eugène Carrière
[Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris, 1893; stock no. 23023; purchased from the artist on May 15, for Fr 1,125; sold on June 21, for Fr 1,820, to Whittemore]; Harris Whittemore, Saugatuck, Conn. (1893–1926; by deed to Whittemore Co. on November 20, 1926); J. H. Whittemore Co. (1926–74; sold to Whittemore Jr.); Harris Whittemore Jr. (from 1974; bought by his wife from his estate); Mrs. Harris Whittemore Jr. (until 1979; sold to Weimann); Robert Paul Weimann Jr. and Robert Paul Weimann 3rd, Woodbridge, Conn. (1979; sold to Greenspan); [Stuart Greenspan, New York, 1979; sold to MMA]
New York. Kent Fine Art. "Eugène Carrière: The Symbol of Creation," May 8–June 30, 1990, not in catalogue.
Charles S. Moffett and Anne Wagner inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1979–1980. New York, 1980, pp. 44–45, ill., date it about 1893; note that Mary Cassatt's father may have persuaded Whittemore to purchase this picture.
Véronique Nora-Milin with Alice Lamarre. Eugène Carrière, 1849–1906: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. [Paris], 2008, p. 152, no. 384, ill., dates it about 1890–93.
Nora-Milin (2008) catalogues eighteen self-portrait paintings by Carrière, including this one.