A half-length portrait of a man, turned ¾ to the right, on a solid gray-brown background. The artist depicted himself as an aging man, with his long gray hair combed back, leaving his high forehead visible, and with his gaze directed inward. His elbows are bent and his arms are crossed at chest level; he is holding a pencil and a notebook. He is wearing a simple brown coat, yellow waistcoat, and colorful shirt, with a light-colored cravat tied around his neck.
The painting has soft and muted colors, with a predominance of brown, yellow, gold, pale pink, and silver tones.
The painter Martin Ferdinand Quadal is a representative of the Austrian school of painting. He studied in the academies of Vienna and Paris. He worked in England, Italy, Austria, Holland, Germany, and St. Petersburg. He painted portraits, genre scenes, and still lifes, as well as animal and battle scenes.
Self-portraits are an important part of Quadal’s œuvre. This self-portrait, painted in St. Petersburg, is distinguished by its freedom and subtlety of its style. Quadal’s works are displayed in both Western European and Russian collections, including the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the State Hermitage, and the State Tretyakov Gallery.