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Everett Shinn 1876–1953
Everett Shinn strikes a theatrical, artistic pose in this self-portrait with its downcast face and rather glowering expression. The drawing is inscribed to the renowned actress Julia Marlowe, whom the stage-struck Shinn greatly admired. Recognizing that a certain degree of dramatic posturing was expected of the artist, he self-consciously assumes a brooding air. Shinn had once inscribed a sketch of himself posing haughtily for publicity photos, "great fun. being an artist. with temperament."

The 1901 drawing conveys both the charm of Shinn's early pastels and the lack of definition that worried some critics–the shape of the torso, for instance, implies gargantuan proportions. But Shinn's mastery of technique is evident. Eschewing a bright, impressionist palette, he adapts Whistlerian tonalities of gray, black, and white, and then accents his gentle monotones with a touch of vivid color. Acclaimed as a pastel artist, Shinn later became renowned as an Ashcan painter and member of the group of artists known as The Eight.

Pastel on paper, 1901
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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