Zinaida Serebriakova #1

A while back I was doing a self-portrait and I became fascinated with the process of putting “yourself” onto canvass. I found it a rather daunting as one is so emotionally tied to the image, you have intimate first hand knowledge of the subject. So I decided to see how artists have portrayed themselves.

While trawling the internet through millions of images I came across Zinaida Serbriakova’s work and was captivated. Her paintings of herself are warm and  open and make you feel as if you know this open eyed gentle woman looking at you.


This is one of my favourite self-portraits, “At the Dressing Table”

It was painted in 1909 and is remarkable for the dynamism of its composition It has a modern feel to it, only the splayed hatpins in the foreground are a fashion reminder that the painting is a hundred years old.

Zinaida, having been born in 1884, was  just 25 when she painted this self portrait. It is an engaging painting, drawing you in with the sweep of the hair which extends from the mirror behind and, combined with the arms adds to the energy and sense of novelty in the portrait.

This  candid, charming, beguiling portrait  was a forerunner to the way she would always paint herself.

All of her many self portraits  exude an intimacy and the  immediacy of the artist herself.

self-portrait-wearing-a-scarf-1911Self Portrait wearing a scarf 1911.

I have a wonderful collection of her extensive body of work and I am going to do a few posts about her, her life and her works.

This entry was posted in They speak with pictures and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Zinaida Serebriakova #1

  1. I love these paintings! They are so pretty! Do you paint too?

    • Gwynn Smith says:

      Zinaida’s paintings are really beautiful. I will be doing more on her work over the next few weeks. I do paint, just picked up my brushes after many years, so still very rusty.
      Thank you for reading my blog.

  2. Pingback: Zinaida Serebriakova #2 | The Magpies' Nest

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