Self-portrait in Blue Neckcloth

John Ruskin



Source: Spates (see below)

Peirpont Morgan Library, New York

“It is almost universally agreed that Self-Portrait in Blue Neckcloth, 1873 is not only the most striking and accomplished picture Ruskin ever made of himself, but the most honest, a portrait of a soul divided, with one side of his face imaging a face full of light and purpose, while the other side shows a countenance almost monstrous, a half-visage peering out of a terrifying dark, a dark which terrifies the artist himself. Specifically: Ruskin has rendered the right side of his face (the left side in the portrait) in warm flesh tones, its soft-blue, intentioned eye staring straight ahead, its forehead only slightly lined, the hair and sideburns full and robust, the mouth set and determined, the trademark neckcloth perfectly arranged and brilliantly blue. [Continued below]