Historical Vignette

Théophile Hamel (1817-1870), Autoportrait dans l'atelier, circa 1849, oil on canvas, 53,5 x 41,6 cm

Théophile Hamel (1817-1870), Autoportrait dans l’atelier, circa 1849, oil on canvas, 53,5 x 41,6 cm
Collection of Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (1934.237), gift of Mrs. Gustave Havel
Photo : MNBAQ, Jean-Guy Kérouac

In Canada, artists began practicing self-portraiture in the 19th century. They often represented themselves at work in their studio, with brush and palette in hand. The self-portrait done by Théophile Hamel (1817-1870) in 1846 depicts a serious figure and was clearly designed to promote the artist to new clients. It is very different from the intimate picture that Brad Phillips paints of himself.