32.7 cm x 22.5 cm (12 7/8 in. x 8 7/8 in.)
(Saint-Thomas (Virgin Islands), 1830 - 1903, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, University Purchase, 1961
Unlike others of the Impressionists who had to be coaxed into making prints and then usually made only copies of their paintings, Pissarro embraced etching early as a means of producing original work. Along with Degas and Manet, Pissarro was one of the first members of the Société des Aquafortistes and later of the Société des peintres-graveurs. He experimented with and exploited the medium's inherent qualities as in this self-portrait made when he was sixty years old. Having gone through his pointillist phase, the artist returned to a more impressionistic style with his face emerging from the dense, inky blackness. He used the expressive potential of the etched line to convey the coarseness of his beard, the wizened face, the knowing eyes.