In 1902, at the age of 21, Léon Spilliaert painted
his first self-portrait. To that point a young
autodidact with only a few, indifferent months of
art school at the Bruges Academy under his belt,
the young Belgian artist was still in the early stages
of his creative development; that self-portrait is
marked by a certain stilted formalism. From that
first sally, however, his creative evolution, as
evinced in this show, allows us to trace the growth
of his artistic skill, alongside his constant concern
with and interrogation of modernity through stark,
metaphorical depictions of the solitude and
estrangement with which modern man is faced. As
his own subject, Spilliaert was an ideal canvas for
portraying, with increasing complexity, those
obsessions in a darkly limpid form. This
spectacular overview of his haunted persona is a
sharp lens into the heart of his work.

Musée d'Orsay
Léon Spilliaert: Self-Portraits
March 6 through May 27, 2007
62 rue de Lille
75007 Paris
T. +33 (0)1 40 49 48 14