A Portrait of the Artist, 1525-1825 reveals how artists depicted themselves and their profession from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. This richly illustrated book presents more than eighty engravings, etchings, woodcuts, mezzotints, and lithographs from the collection of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation. It provides an in-depth examination of works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Claude Lorrain, Adriaen van Ostade, Salvator Rosa, William Hogarth, Francisco Goya, and many other European masters. A Portrait of the Artist, 1525-1825 accompanies an exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation.
The prints in this book are organized into four themes: "Icon," "Work," "Genius," and "Market." Together the themes present a comprehensive look at how artists used art to define individual and group identities. From the late Middle Ages onward, artists struggled to improve their social status. This quest affected the ways in which they represented themselves, other artists, and subjects relating to their profession. The prints featured in this book focus on artists' lives and work and on the roles that both artists and the arts held in society. Many of the examples are self-portraits, whereas others depict artists at work, interacting with clients, or in training.
By James Clifton
James Clifton is director of the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation and curator of Renaissance and Baroque painting at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Leslie Scattone is curatorial assistant at the Blaffer Foundation.
Andrew C. Weislogel is assistant curator and master teacher at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University.