This Berlin painter was a member of several artistic academies (Stuttgart, Paris, Vienna). She maintained a studio on the prestigious Unter den Linden boulevard in Berlin from 1773. This self-portrait is a mature work, and shows Therbusch as a Vestal Virgin beside a tripod topped with fire. The austere life of a priestess of the Roman goddess of the domestic hearth seems to be a metaphor of her own arduous existence as a woman painter. Her expression, as she looks up from her book, is reminiscent of that of a Sybil. The subject gazes forcefully at the viewer through her imposing eyeglass. The red paint she used as an undercoat for her portraits can still be made out.


  • Title: Self-Portrait (Unfinished)
  • Creator: Anna Dorothea Therbusch, née Liszewska
  • Date Created: 1776/77
  • Physical Dimensions: w118.0 x h153.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Canvas
  • Style: German
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Rainer Michaelis // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Gender: female
  • Artist Dates: 1721/1782
  • Acquired: 1924

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