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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Goncharova, Natal'ia Sergeevna
Culture:Russian (1881-1962)
Date Made:ca. 1907
Materials:Oil on canvas mounted on board
Measurements:Board: 22 x 18 in.; 55.9 x 45.7 cm; Frame: 26 5/16 x 22 1/2 x 1 in.; 66.8 x 57.2 x 2.5 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2001.11
Credit Line:Gift of Thomas P. Whitney (Class of 1937)

Label Text:
Goncharova depicts herself as an autonomous artist not seeking the viewer’s approval. Her self-confidence was characteristic of the Russian avant-garde, which featured a remarkable number of prominent women artists, including Serebriakova and Popova.

With the traditional red headscarf and the red embroidery on white cloth on the left side, the painter demonstrates her cherished Russianness. Van Gogh-esque brushstrokes and the absence of a defined spatial setting, however, reveal her training in Paris. In the background, Goncharova renders her own painting, with a stooped peasant woman, to signify her professionalism.

The artist probably gave this Self-Portrait its signature and date (1904) a while after its completion, but its style and background motif indicate creation around 1907. One reason for the false date may have been her wish to demonstrate that Russia was not a follower but a precursor of the European avant-garde.
BJ 2011

women; portraits; artists; works of art

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