Theodor Rehbenitz

In his self-portrait of 1817, Rehbenitz describes his intense gaze with precise and controlled draftsmanship. Feathery networks of graphite lines carefully establish the shadows over his face; the highly finished study is exactingly rendered throughout, apart from the loose curls at left, which remain as more animated traces of the artist’s hand at work. Rehbenitz produced this signed and dated drawing a year after moving to Rome from Vienna, where he had been studying at the Academy of Fine Arts. In Rome, Rehbenitz joined the circle of German artists known as the Nazarenes, forming a Protestant faction of the group with Friedrich Olivier and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, whose work is on view nearby.

Theodor Rehbenitz
German, 1791–1861
Self-Portrait, 1817
Graphite pencil
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, INV. NO. C 3327
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Photo: Herbert Boswank