Picturing Myself: A Wittgensteinian Conception of the Artist’s Self Portrait

Cecilia B. Beristain


It is the aim of this paper to look at the visual artistic self portrait from the
point of view of the late Wittgenstein. Specifically, with his dissolution of the
‘inner/outer’ dichotomy, the metaphysic language which artists use to talk about
their self portraits can be seen as indescribable in contrast to what is actually
shown in their paintings. In order to achieve this task, notions of artists on how
they talk about their self portraits will be mentioned. Consequently, it will be
argued with Wittgenstein’s reflections on the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’ that,
independently of what the painter claims about her self portrait, it is in the
painting that she expresses no more and no less than what is there to show about
herself. In correlation to this, the artistic view of the self portrait in connection
to the ‘introspection’ will be seen from a Wittgensteinian perspective.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; artistic picture; self; self-portrait; inner vs outer; introspection

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