MINARDI, Tommaso
(b. 1787, Faenza, d. 1871, Roma)

Self-Portrait

1803
Oil on canvas, 37 x 33 cm
Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Florence

In his Self-Portrait, the artist depicts himself sitting on a mattress, wrapped in his coat, in a humble but tidy room. The oblique wooden ceiling of the mansard room forms the strongest diagonal accent in a composition that is otherwise determined by a quiet contrast of horizontals and verticals. On the back wall of the room, there is a full bookcase, and books are piled on the desk at the left. A number of other everyday things are distributed picturesquely around the room. Light falls into the interior from two windows on opposite walls whose shutters open into the room. A death's head and an animal skull serve to underscore the melancholy mood of the as yet unrecognised, starving genius.




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