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Self-Portrait Christian Seybold


Christian Seybold Mainz 1690 or 1697 – 1768 Vienna

Culture German
Date 1760s
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on copper

40.5 x 30 cm
with frame: 56.5 x 47.5 x 8.5 cm

Inventory number 421
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Second Floor, European Art 1700-1850, Gallery XXIX

The hyperrealism of the painting is striking. We see the self-portrait of the painter as an old man with a face furrowed with crow’s feet and deep wrinkles, the meticulous details of which – a striking example of pore painting – give an almost unnaturally perfect illusion of reality. The model faces the viewer with an unvarnished frankness and everyday simplicity. The depiction of the costume is also brilliantly executed; one can almost feel the caressing softness of the fur trims of the coat and the hat.
Seybold painted this picture barely twenty years before Sir Joshua Reynolds, the English painter prince, labelled this extreme manifestation of naturalism “vulgar” at the Royal Academy.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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