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Unless you knew that there might be a self-portrait in this Reclining Nude, you'd probably never see it.
In photographs taken with a macro lens, showing an object in extreme close-up, it can be difficult to recognize the subject. It is the same in painting. However, if you know it's a close-up, it's easier.
Sometimes when an artist uses his own self-portrait, as here, his identification with the figure is patently clear...but there's always something more.
Great Masterpieces of Western ArtArt loved by all
Learn how to look and what to look for, and how touching is painting
See the miraculous head of Christ in Poussin's painting that no-one but artists has ever noted. The painting is up for sale next week with an estimate of $30 million.
Edouard Manet's MasterpiecesManet's the man who taught me everything
This early painting by Manet has always troubled interpreters because it seems to make no apparent sense. Its explanation here, though, will help you understand paintings by Manet, Velazquez and other artists too.
See how smoke and mirrors turn the outside of Manet's studio into the inside
Pablo Picasso's MasterpiecesWho better to learn from than a modern master?
See how Picasso in "copying" a portrait changes it into an image of his own thought process
How a seated harlequin is so much more than a seated harlequin
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