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The artist painted this portrait of himself just after he graduated from college. He wanted to show himself as a serious and
skilled artist.

• How would you paint yourself in a self-portrait?

Click on the items in the description below.

Motley is dressed in the fashion of his day with neatly parted and combed hair; a waxed moustache; a dark suit and tie; and a diamond tie pin.

Motley wanted to protect his clothing from drops of paint, so he wore a brown artist’s smock to cover his suit.

A palette is a flat board on which artists mix their paints. Motley’s palette has a thumbhole so he can hold onto it firmly with one hand while he paints with the other.

The paints on Motley’s palette are colorful and bright. These are the colors he used to paint brilliant scenes of city life.

Archibald J. Motley, Jr. Self-Portrait, 1920. Oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago, through prior acquisitions of Friends of American Art, through prior bequest of Margeurita S. Ritman, 1995.239


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