Self-Portrait

Henn Roode Self-Portrait 1974 oil, canvas 54.5 × 37.5 cm

Henn Roode painted numerous self-portraits towards the end of his life. A striking number of them were sketchy and seemed to be intentionally unfinished, with rivulets of paint running down the cheeks. This self portrait is more of an exception in this context.

People who knew Roode have recalled him as a gentleman with very high aesthetic standards. Years spent in Soviet prison camp did not make him embittered but rather caused him to seek truth from art. His quests for form at the end of the 1960’s and early 1970’s were revolutionary and pioneering. There is admittedly somewhat less experimentation in this work but the year in which the work was completed should be noted. This artist, who only lived to be 50, has painted this self-portrait in the last year of his life. It is possible that this is one of the last depictions of Henn Roode.