Rita Kernn-Larsen

Self-Portrait (Know Thyself)


Kernn-Larsen was a Danish Surrealist artist, to whom Peggy Guggenheim gave an exhibition at her Guggenheim Jeune gallery in London in 1938. This was Peggy’s first Surrealist show and this painting was included. This self-portrait, tellingly titled Know Thyself, develops its automatic line from the artist’s own features, and merges images arising from the unconscious, combining both memory and dream. It references the myth of the femme-arbre (woman-tree) by depicting metamorphic leaves of a tree branch transforming into female lips.

Artist Rita Kernn-Larsen
Date 1937
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 40 x 45 cm
Credit line Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Purchased with funds contributed by Penny Borda, Lewis and Laura Kruger, and the Guggenheim Circle, 2013
Accession 2013.41
Collection Acquisitions
Type Painting

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Other artworks

Unrecorded Nkanu artist


first half of 20th century