10 Disturbing Self-Portraits

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 27/04/2012 18:02 Updated: 27/04/2012 18:02

Artists have the ability to create beautiful things. How is it, then, that when it comes to portraying themselves on canvas, it can sometimes seem so...well, ugly?

The self is one of the most challenging subjects out there, not least because there is so much more to depict than just what’s staring back at you in the mirror. Artists have used self portraits to reflect, depict and narrate their innermost feelings for decades, and they can be as revealing about their creator as they are elusive.

A lot of the time, though, as this gallery shows, self portraits can be quite off-putting. Just what was going on inside the mind of the person who created it? We’ve hunted high and low for art’s most disturbing self-portraits - if you think we’ve missed any off, let us know in the comments.

Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear, Vincent van Gogh
1  of  11
Van Gogh was somewhat of a serial self-portrait painter throughout his troubled career. This one, painted just a year before he died, is one of the most famous, depicting a bandage which covered his self-mutilated ear.

The ear incident came at the end of van Gogh's most productive year - he painted the iconic sunflowers and bedroom paintings in 1888. However, he also had a history of self-harm and bipolar disorder - critics think this painting is of an outward display of inner suffering.

IMAGE: Wikipaintings.