Self-Portraits by Nineteenth-Century Greek Painters
The subject of this paper is the self-portrait, and, in particular, the ways in which Greek painters of the 19th century supported and expanded the genre. A series of self-portraits of painters who lived beyond the borders of the newly established Greek state are analysed in this paper. From an iconographic aspect, their works follow the constitutional visual conventions and they are created within the frame of a specific artistic trend, reflecting theoretical discussions and conflicts of their times. By the end of the 19th century the self-portrait had, for several reasons, lost their distinctive elements and was usually not conceived as different from the portrait. From the 1860’s, many Greek painters created portraits of themselves in order to express their personal success, and also, to present the case for the improvement of the social position of the Greek artists, in general. A leading example of such a focus of intention can be seen in the self-portraits of Nikeforos Lytras.