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Self-Portrait (Artist). 1933

Malevich Kazimir,
Oil on canvas
73 x 66

State Russian Museum


A growing predilection for figurativeness can be noted in Kazimir Malevich’s later works, particularly his portraits. Although this fascination might at first sight seem induced, it does not in actual fact contradict the internal disposition of an artist who “in the depth of his soul always remained a classic.” In Self-Portrait, Malevich depicts himself dressed in the attire of an Italian doge. His painterly devices are reminiscent of Renaissance frescoes. The artist underlines the reticent expression on his face, his majestic pose and the unusual gesture of the hand, more typical of the depiction of a saint in an icon than a self-portrait.
All these details are, however, deliberate, leading us away from the characteristics of a concrete personality. Malevich therefore felt compelled to make the inscription Artist on the back of the canvas.

Author's Biography

Malevich Kazimir

Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich (1878, Kiev - 1935, Leningrad)
Painter, graphic artist, writer on art, portraitist, landscapist, abstractionist. Studied at the Kiev School of Art (1895-1896) and Fyodor Roehrberg's studio in Moscow (1906-1910). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1905). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Moscow Fellowship of Artists (from 1907), Donkey's Tail (1912), Target (1913), Der Blaue Reiter (1912), Salon des Independants (1914), Tramcar V. First Futurist Exhibition (1915) and 0,10. Last Futurist Exhibition (1915-1916). Designed the sets and costumes for the Futurist opera "Victory Over the Sun" (1913). Member of the Union of Youth (1910) and Jack of Diamonds (1910, 1916). Founded the AFFIRMES OF THE NEW ARTgroup (1920). Worked for Department of An People's Commissariat of Education (1918-1919). Director of the Museum/Institute of Artistic Culture in Petrograd/Leningrad (1923-1926).

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