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Paul Emil Jacobs

(1802–1866, Gotha)

Self-portrait of the Artist in Rome. Etching. 17.5 x 13.3 cm. Circa 1825–28. Undescribed.

A painter of historical scenes and portraits, Paul Emil Jacobs studied from 1818 to 1825 at the Munich Academy, after which he stayed in Rome until 1828. During this period he demon­strated his gift for history painting, particularly in the depiction of Biblical and mythological subjects. The present self-portrait shows the artist as a serious young man with a somewhat melan­choly look about him. The contemplative gaze is directed straight at the beholder. The unruly hair, a strand of which falls over the sitter’s temple, gives the portrait a rather casual air, underscoring the informal character of this portrait study. While the face is rendered in elaborate detail, the artist’s braided jacket is indicated only sketchily, which endows the print with a sense of the infinito.

An excellent impression with margins around the platemark on three sides. With a contemporary inscription in pencil in the lower margin: “Etched by Paul Emil Jakobs himself in Rome.”

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