Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Self Portraits of Hans Thoma

'Self Portrait with Love and Death' by Hans Thoma 1875

These are two amazing self portraits by Hans Thoma. I enjoy looking at both pieces together rather than each in isolation. Alone they capture who he is at a fixed point in time, together they reveal his journey from one stage in life to another. It is not only his appearance that has altered, he is a different person to who he once was. In the later image he gazes directly at the viewer, confident and assertive. In the earlier image he appears to be taken slightly off guard by love and death, which are arguably two of the most important aspects of life. The paintings reveal a man at two different stages of self knowledge.

'Self Portrait' by Hans Thoma 1899