Bernard Safran: Paintings
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Self Portrait, 1969

Self Portrait, 1969

20" x 25", oil on masonite

large view

Safran completed many self-portraits over his lifetime, but this is arguably the most striking one in the collection. The rich vermilion red background sets off the black wool jacket and beret, allowing us to focus on his face and hands.

In the background is gold lettering in Latin, "Aetatis Suae [At the Age of] 43". This device, along with the overall composition of the portrait, is an homage to Hans Holbein, one of the great portraitists of the 16th century.