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Self-portrait with Crow

Will Barnet
Will Barnet, 25 May 1911 - 13 Nov 2012
Will Barnet, 25 May 1911 - 13 Nov 2012
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 77.5 x 114cm (30 1/2 x 44 7/8")
Frame: 81.9 x 118.1 x 4.4cm (32 1/4 x 46 1/2 x 1 3/4")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Will and Elena Barnet
Restrictions & Rights
©1980 Will Barnet
Object number
Exhibition Label
In his self-portrait we see artist Will Barnet at a window in his Long Island studio, which looks out on Gardiner's Bay, near East Hampton. During his long career as a painter, printmaker, and teacher, Barnet developed a strong personal style that emphasizes spare outlines and muted colors. His companion here is the crow who was a neighbor's pet and at times a visitor to Barnet's studio. The crow's pose mimics the artist's silhouette and gaze. Crows also appear in Barnet's other paintings of the late 1970s and early 1980s, around the time of the self-portrait. Some have mythical themes and are titled Circe, Hera, Persephone, and The Three Muses, and in these works, birds contribute a mood of almost mysterious stillness.
The artist; gift 2008 to NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection