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.
women; portraits; artists; works of art
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