Semi-Nude Self-Portrait

Richard Gerstl1902/05

Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum
Vienna, Austria

In this work, the artist portrays himself as a sort of illuminated figure. His body and the white cloth shine out from the blue background, and the head looks as if it is radiating a pale-blue aura. The figure appears like an apparition as it emanates from this dark blue, figmental background. The face is rendered with greater detail and has a suggestive glare. Using relatively contained brushwork, Gerstl painted this self-portrait some time before he turned to a more gestural, expressive style of painting. Occasionally interpreted as an allusion to the risen Lazarus or an Ecce Homo depiction, it seems that the artist has projected his individualist, lone path in art into a universal image. This self-sacralization anticipates some of Egon Schiele’s own representations of himself.


  • Title: Semi-Nude Self-Portrait
  • Creator: Richard Gerstl
  • Creator Lifespan: Vienna 1883 - 1908 Vienna
  • Creator Nationality: Austrian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Vienna
  • Creator Birth Place: Vienna
  • Date Created: 1902/05
  • Physical Dimensions: w1090 x h1590 cm (Without Frame)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • External Link: Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • Technique: Oil on canvas
  • Inv. no.: LM 637

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