This is a reduced replica of the painting in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, which has been variously dated in the 1840s and may have been exhibited at the Salon in 1846. In manner the self portrait is indebted to portraiture of the Italian Renaissance, particularly the work of Titian.
Previously thought to have been painted by Courbet himself, a label on the reverse of the work's millboard panel support indicates that it cannot have been painted before 1880, three years after Courbet's death. Also on the reverse of this work there is an unfinished painting of a hand and a chair.
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