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Paul Cadmus Self-Portrait

Paul Cadmus Self-Portrait
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Paul Cadmus, 17 Dec 1904 - 12 Dec 1999
Sitter
Paul Cadmus, 17 Dec 1904 - 12 Dec 1999
Date
1965
Type
Drawing
Medium
Crayon on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 41.8 x 39.2cm (16 7/16 x 15 7/16")
Mat (Verified): 61 x 58.4cm (24 x 23")
Frame: 63.5 × 60.3 cm (25 × 23 3/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection Conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women's Committee
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Estate of Paul Cadmus/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Object number
NPG.2002.219
Exhibition Label
Paul Cadmus met his partner, the young dancer Jon Anderson, shortly before he made this self-portrait in April 1965. Cadmus often used Anderson as a model for his nude drawings, but he also posed for himself. “I’ve done a great many just plain self-portraits,” he noted, “being the most easily available model.” Although the angled hand, dark-toned paper, and subtle touches of color recall his meticulous nudes, his unrelenting gaze conveys a less admiring appraisal, as if comparing his aging face to his companion’s youth. Critics always admired Cadmus’s ability to draw and paint the human form, and he persisted in doing highly finished figurative drawings, even when they became unfashionable at mid-century. For him, a good drawing was “less an act of exploration than a fully resolved work, which, like a poem or musical composition, was worth consideration only in its final, perfected form.”
Paul Cadmus conoció a su pareja, el joven bailarín Jon Anderson, poco antes de hacer este autorretrato en abril de 1965. Cadmus solía utilizar a Anderson como modelo en sus dibujos de desnudos, pero también posaba él mismo. “He hecho muchísimos autorretratos”, comentó, “dado que soy el modelo que tengo más cerca”. Aunque la mano en ángulo, el papel de tono oscuro y los toques sutiles de color recuerdan sus meticulosos desnudos, aquí su ojo implacable comunica una perspectiva menos halagadora, como si comparara su rostro envejecido con la juventud de su pareja. Los críticos siempre admiraron en Cadmus su destreza para dibujar y pintar la figura humana, y él persistió en hacer dibujos figurativos de gran detalle incluso cuando ya a mediados del siglo habían pasado de moda. Decía que un buen dibujo era, “más que un acto de exploración, una obra consumada que, al igual que un poema o una composición musical, era digno de considerarse únicamente en su forma final, perfecta”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection