Self-Portrait - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Buy image

Self-Portrait – 82/74

Barrueta, Benito

Bermeo, Bizkaia, 21/03/1873-Bermeo, Bizkaia, 05/12/1953

Oil on canvas

60 x 42 cm

B. Barrueta (bottom left hand corner)

c. 1943-1945

First half of the 20th century


Acquired in 1950

  • Barrueta also produced a good many portraits, targeting the old and the young, popular figures, as well as his wife Leandra Bilbao. These, and a series of self-portraits, give a good idea of Barrueta's respect for the genre. In general, the self-portraits loom out against neutral backgrounds, and never show more than half the body, being rendered in a relaxed, simplified manner. The artist exerts himself in the features, leaving us with some sober but nicely poised and insightful images, free of unnecessary pyrotechnic displays. The monochrome backgrounds are a technical resource that allows the artist to condense all the expressive potential in the figure, the head and face of the sitter, accentuating the individualization with soft shadowing in search of psychological penetration. (Santiago Arcediano)

Selected bibliography

  • Exposición organizada con motivo de la concesión, por la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, de la Medalla de Honor al Ayuntamiento de la Villa [Folleto]. Bilbao, Ayuntamiento, 1952. n° cat. 37.
  • 50 años de pintura vasca, 1885-1935 [Cat. exp.]. Madrid, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, 1971. n° cat. 40.
  • 50 años de pintura vasca, 1885-1935 [Cat. exp.]. San Sebastián, Museo de San Telmo, 1972. s. p., n° cat. 28.
  • Pintores y escultores vascos de ayer, hoy y mañana. Bilbao, Editorial La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, 1973. p. 59-64.
  • Pintores y escultores vascos de ayer, hoy y mañana. Bilbao, La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, 1976. pp. 8- 67-69
  • Aróstegui Barbier, Juan de. La vida del pintor Barrueta. Bilbao, Editorial Vizcaína, 1976. p. 189.
  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao. Bilbao, La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, 1978. pp. 308-309.
  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Catálogo de arte moderno y contemporáneo del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya, 1980. p. 30. (Con el título Autorretrato)
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. pp. 62-63.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. pp. 62-63.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 61-62, n° cat. 28c.
  • Viar, Javier. Historia del arte vasco : de la Guerra Civil a nuestros días, 1936-2016. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2017. p. 38.