'Self-Portrait with Cigarette', 1895, oil on canvas
The artist portrayed himself as a vulnerable and somewhat afraid in the painting. The gaze of the figure illustrates hesitation and perplexity as if scarcely staring at the viewer. The tones selected for the paining itself are dark and blurred out, which results in the figure almost blending with and fading into the background. Metaphorically, it can symbolise the sense of vulnerability which I suggested.
Additionally, the facial expression of the figure is rather quite desensitised, which possibly suggests that the artist did not wish to reveal or express his emotional state.
In contrast to the dark shades and tones, which prevail in the painting, the face and the hand of the artist are floodlit by a white, rather disturbing light. This creates additional tension within the overall atmosphere.
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