Jean Léon Gérôme is best known for his oeuvre of Orientalist paintings that depict an imagined, European vision of the Middle East. As a young artist, however, he studied in Italy, where he was influenced by classical and Renaissance art. This self-portrait, Gérôme’s first, was painted in Rome in 1844 (later incorrectly dated 1845 on the canvas), when the artist was twenty years old. His long hair, style of dress, and the sensitive rendering of his facial features suggest that Gérôme was consciously seeking to model his self-portrait on the work of the celebrated Renaissance artist Raphael.
Oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 17 ½ in. (54.9 x 44.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 81.5