About this artwork
Beauford Delaney offered a penetrating, uncompromising view of himself in this self-portrait. The artist used bold, thick strokes of paint in bright colors to render a portrayal of vibrant yet haunting intensity—seemingly capturing his psyche as well as his appearance—which could allude to his struggle for personal and public acceptance as a gay black man.
The son of a Tennessee preacher, Delaney studied art in Boston before settling in 1929 in New York, where he befriended artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock as well as writer James Baldwin, with whom he formed an especially deep, intellectual relationship of mutual inspiration and mentorship.
- Beauford Delaney
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- Oil on canvas
- 68.6 × 57.2 cm (27 × 22 1/2 in.)
- Purchased with funds provided by Alexander C. and Tillie S. Speyer Foundation; Samuel A. Marx Endowment