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Video transcript

we're in the Prado in Madrid and we're looking at Albert doors self-portrait from 1498 where he shows himself for me almost like a dandy he painted this when he was 26 and that's what the inscription says below the window you can see that he's proud of his looks and proud of his clothes and mostly proud of how he could paint it's so interesting because he is creating himself here but he's representing himself not only in terms of his likeness not only in terms of the class that he's aspiring to not only in terms of his representation of his own aesthetics in terms of his choice of costume but he's representing himself as a painter as well right as a craftsman as somebody who is extraordinarily capable and yet at the same time he's also negating that very ability by rendering himself not in the guise of an artist of a workman but wearing actually incredibly expensive kid gloves and very much not in a workshop environment but as if he were a nobleman right I mean it's important to remember that when an artist paints a self-portrait he's actually probably looking in a mirror and you know he's got paint you know he's got brushes in his hands and he's in his studio and he's painting so there's a real conscious decision to remove those things and to show himself in another way and so the hands are completely fabricated and yet in some ways this is still very much for me tied to his identity as an artist I think he's not only representing himself but he's representing his abilities in the sense of kind of portfolio piece laying claim to art as something that is intellectual see that's the kid yeah right this notion that painting is in fact as you said an intellectual activity not just the work of the craftsman of a cabinet maker exactly but something which happens in the artists mind and therefore worthy of a different kind and level of respect then I think that's very much here