Saturday, September 26, 2020

Seeing Our Own Reflection in the Birth of the Self-Portrait

By Jason Fargo
“Self-Portrait with Fur-Trimmed Robe,” Albrecht Dürer / Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Who are you, and what are you doing here? You, there in the mirror, there in the lens of your phone: What do you see? In the eyes of us poor moderns, it seems self-evident that a picture can capture who you are. That your posed image, your face and your clothing, express something essential about your personality. It’s the myth on which every selfie stands. More than five centuries ago, Albrecht Dürer painted images so detailed and exact that they seemed some kind of divine creation. One subject fascinated him above all: himself. This self-portrait was its own legitimation, with no need for likes. It was the work of an individual already facing the future head on. [More]