Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Self-Portrait

Artist:
Léon Spilliaert (Belgian, Ostend 1881–1946 Brussels)
Date:
1907
Medium:
Gouache, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper
Dimensions:
20 3/4 x 14 7/8 in. (52.7 x 37.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Gift of William S. Lieberman, in honor of A. Hyatt Mayor, 1980
Accession Number:
1980.208
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Spilliaert made this picture in 1907, when he was in his twenties and living and working at his parents’ home on the Belgian coast. He found his subject matter close at hand: the beach, the sea, and his own person, depicted in moody, dramatically-lit self-portraits like this one. Here, the artist shows himself astride a chair, his drawing board propped up before him. Although he is surrounded by everyday objects—a coat rack, an umbrella, and a gas lamp—the double reflection of the mirrors in the background adds a note of strangeness to the scene.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): L. Spilliaert/ Nov. 07
[Piccadilly Gallery, London, until ca. 1976; sold ca. 1976 to Lieberman]; William S. Lieberman, New York (ca. 1976–80; his gift to MMA)

Palm Beach, Fla. Society of the Four Arts. "Extraordinary People: Portraits on Paper of Artists and Writers From the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art," March 11–April 16, 1978, no. 53 (as an extended loan to MoMA).

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Artists and Writers," July 10–October 3, 1978, no. 53.

Huntington, N. Y. Heckscher Museum. "As We See Ourselves: Artists Self-Portraits," June 22–August 5, 1979, unnumbered cat. (p. 29; lent by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Extended loan.

Washington, D. C. Phillips Collection. "Leon Spilliaert: Symbol and Expression in 20th Century Belgian Art," April 17–June 8, 1980, no. 11 (lent by a private collection, New York).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Leon Spilliaert: Symbol and Expression in 20th Century Belgian Art," June 15–September 15, 1980, no. 11.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Small Interiors," April 8–July 21, 1996, unnum. checklist.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Looking At You," January 26–September 30, 2001, no catalogue.

Brussels. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. "Léon Spilliaert: A Free Spirit," September 22, 2006–February 4, 2007, no. 151 (as "Self-Portrait with Drawing Board").

Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "Léon Spilliaert: Self-Portraits," March 5–May 27, 2007, no catalogue.

"Artists and Writers." MoMA no. 7 (Summer 1978), p. 6, ill.

Katherine Lochridge et al. As We See Ourselves: Artists Self-Portraits. Exh. cat., Heckscher Museum. Huntington, N. Y., 1979, pp. 15, 24, ill. p. 29.

John Ashbery. "The Belgian Connection." New York Magazine (August 4, 1980), ill. p. 50 (color).

Francine-Claire Legrand. Leon Spilliaert et son époque. Tielt, Belgium, 1981, p. 117, no. 33, fig. 97 and ill. p. 187, locates it in a private collection, New York.

Xavier Tricot. Leon Spilliaert: Les années 1900–1915. Ghent, Belgium, 1996, ill. p. 73, calls it "Autoportrait avec planche de dessin" and locates it in a private collection.

Bernard Dewulf in Léon Spilliaert: A Free Spirit. Exh. cat., Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels. Ghent, 2006, pp. 131–32, no. 151, ill. p. 141 (color), provides a general discussion of the artist's fifteen self-portraits of 1907–8.



Related Objects

Plaisirs d'hiver. Collection du "Petite Artiste"

Artist: Léon Spilliaert (Belgian, Ostend 1881–1946 Brussels) Date: 1918 Medium: Illustrations: lithography Accession: 1982.1019 On view in:Not on view

Winter Landscape

Artist: Anselm Kiefer (German, born Donaueschingen, 1945) Date: 1970 Medium: Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper Accession: 1995.14.5 On view in:Not on view

Seated Woman, Back View

Artist: Egon Schiele (Austrian, Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna) Date: 1917 Medium: Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper Accession: 1984.433.294 On view in:Not on view

Self-Portrait

Artist: Egon Schiele (Austrian, Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna) Date: 1911 Medium: Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper Accession: 1984.433.298ab On view in:Not on view