Heads of Six of Hogarth's Servants (c.1750-5) by William HogarthTate Britain
Self-portraiture is an important artistic discipline. Offering valuable insights into an artist’s mindset and vision, self-portraits can be key to understanding a painter’s wider portfolio. So, can you put your artistic eye to the test to work out which of these self-portraitists created these famous works?
The Painter and his Pug (1745-01-01) by William HogarthTate Britain
1) The Storyteller
Our first artist is one of the most famous English painters of all time, William Hogarth. Titled The Painter and his Pug, this self-portrait was made in the mid 1730s. Recent X rays have revealed that the artist initially painted himself with a coat and wig before updating his outfit to this less formal cap and robe.
Detailed and realistic, the portrait of Hogarth himself is shown on an oval canvas propped up on a pile of books, while the pug sits outside of the frame, loyal even to his master's image. Hogarth was well-known for his storytelling abilities in satirical cartoons.
Which of the following paintings is also by Hogarth?
Can you tell which of these narrative pieces is by the same hand?
David Garrick as Richard III (About 1745) by William HogarthWalker Art Gallery, Liverpool
David Garrick as Richard III
Hogarth painted David Garrick as Richard III in 1745. The subject is seen in a fairly dramatic pose, with one arm outstretched and a shocked, anxious look on his face. The detail in the scene is typical of Hogarth’s precise work and gives the painting a modern feel that defies its 270-years.
Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta (1820) by Francisco de GoyaMinneapolis Institute of Art
2) The Court Painter
This unusual self-portrait is by Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Made in 1820, it was his final self before his death in 1828. The painting shows Goya being nursed back to health by his friend Dr. Arrieta, who received the painting from Goya as a thank you for saving his life.
The beautiful light that falls on the central subjects is typical of Goya’s work, as are the soft brushstrokes and ‘romantic’ feel.
Does this give you any clues as to which one of the following works was also created by Goya?
Which of these portraits is an authentic Goya?
Bartolomé Sureda y Miserol (c. 1803/1804) by Francisco de GoyaNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Bartolomé Sureda y Miserol
Though not as dramatic as his self-portrait, this well-known work is a good example of Goya’s style. The subject, Bartolomé Sureda y Miserol, was the manager of a number of artistic enterprises for the Spanish Royal family. He was a big fan of Goya’s and, after he retired, dedicated his life to painting.
Self-portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura) (1638-1639) by Artemisia GentileschiRoyal Collection Trust, UK
3) The Pioneer
Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the very few female artists working in the 17th century. A professional at the age of 15, she was influenced by Caravaggio before developing a more Baroque style later in her career. A lot of Gentileschi’s works feature myths, legends and allegories, and this self-portrait is no different.
Can you tell which of the below paintings is also by this Italian pioneer?
Which of these baroque paintings is also by Artemisia Gentileschi?
Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy (about 1620 - 25) by Artemisia GentileschiThe National Gallery, London
Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy
Painted between 1620 and 1625, Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy depicts one of Christ’s most famous followers. Bathed in light, Mary Magdalene is leaning backwards with her eyes closed. This intimate, peaceful, and powerful work is among Gentileschi’s most important.
Esther before Ahasuerus by Artemisia GentileschiThe Metropolitan Museum of Art