As part of the preparation for our 20 years celebrations, our Chinese Bronzes and Women’s Library collections will be closed from Monday 26 February, reopening with the rest of our new season on Thursday 21 March.

Gennaro Basile 1722-1782

Self-Portrait

Details

Artist

Gennaro Basile 1722-1782

Title

Self-Portrait

Date

About 1752–1755 (?)

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

63.5 x 48.3 cm (unframed); 77 x 61 cm (framed)

Reference

CVCSC:0373.S

Collection

Naples

Status

On Display

Gennaro Basile was born in Naples, but little is known about his early training, and he only found fame after moving to the Habsburg Empire in 1752. In this intriguing self-portrait Basile glances at us over his shoulder, brush in hand, as if we have just interrupted him at work. The identity of the lady he is painting is unknown, but she resembles the young Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa (1717-80), whom Basile might have met during his first stay in Hungary. The enigmatic mask squeezed in the right corner is probably an allegory of art. Signed on the reverse: Genaro Basili.

Gennaro Basile Self-Portrait About 1752–1755 (?) © Compton Verney