《Self-Portrait with a Hat》
c. 1890-94 Oil on canvas
This self-portrait, from Cézanne’s later period, is one of over thirty he painted. He did not like using models. The self-portrait was his only way to engage in his exploration of form by looking at a human figure as pure subject, without being conscious of an other. Here, he is looking over his shoulder at the viewer, against an indistinct background. We glimpse melancholy in his shadowed left side; his acute gaze, in his highlighted right side, makes us sense his stern self-awareness as a painter. The composition combines green as the base color, dynamic but precise brushwork, and areas deliberately left unpainted.