Self-portrait with a brush

Wilhelm Gimmi | 1939-1950
Oil on canvas | 53 x 54.5 cm
Parisian period (1908-1940) taken over at Chexbres around 1950
Inventory 19_GIM-048 | Wilhelm Gimmi Foundation
Photo: Julien Gremaud, Vevey


Artistic features


Self-portrait as a painter at work

Here Wilhelm Gimmi portrays himself as a painter resolutely pursuing his life as a painter: the straightness of his posture at right angles to his brushstroke is unequivocal, while at the same time integrating a contemplative gaze humbly signifying the depth of his work.


American Plane | Horizontal axis

In bust, with the horizontal axis of the brush placed at the very bottom of the set, magnifying the mass of the character. The three-quarter pose is classical, unlike the neutral, almost absent background, accentuating the painter's desire for independence.


Oil on canvas

But Gimmi's execution does not suffer from hesitation or trial and error. It is ready, alert, alive. Her hand paints quickly, with a kind of candor (emanating from a naive and believing soul), with a kind of poetic freshness.
Nesto Jacometti, Exhibition Calalogue p. 84


Dominant: 11307369

Range limited to a choice of grey-blue (except for the warm tones of the face): well supported on the character and in neutral declination in the background, almost immanent light imposing the timeless character of the painter's work.



Parisian period (1908-1940) taken over at Chexbres around 1950

A number of themes could be mentioned which are repeated periodically or at different times. In addition to the nudes and compositions with bathers that constantly return to the easel, we can evoke figures in Spanish costumes that we see again twenty years later. Le Zinc (1944 - 1955), Nana (1948), Café à Paris (1953 - 1957), Le Pont Marie (1948), La Lavandière au Quai d'Anjou (1957 - 1958) which, all painted in Chexbres, were subjects already treated in Paris - not to mention the self-portraits which from 1919 to 1960 mark out a whole career of which they are in a way the reference points. Wilhelm Gimmi executed nearly five hundred oil paintings at Chexbres.
Georges Peillex, Exhibition catalogue p. 29

Artistic current:

Personal Synthesis

Gimmi didn't let himself learn anything. He took what he wanted all by himself. His choice went directly to the masters chosen by his heart.
Nesto Jacometti, Exhibition catalogue p. 81

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Self-portrait with a brush

W. Gimmi: Brush Self-Portrait