Arts Everyday Living: The Genius of Self-Portraits–Can You Solve the Puzzle of this Painting?

Joseph Heintz, Self Portrait with His Brother and Sister, 1596, oil, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne, Switzerland

 

Self-portraits offer artists a unique opportunity to express themselves on a creative and personal basis.  However, Swiss painter Joseph Heintz the Elder (1564-1609) also introduces us to his brother and sister, who seem to be assisting him in this professional endeavor. I have been unable to find a description or explanation of this work of art.  What do you think is happening in it?

 

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