Philip Akkerman

Portrait of world famous self-portrait-painter Philip Akkerman at his home in the Hague.


From As well as choosing to paint only self-portraits, Philip Akkerman has set himself an increasing number of constraints over the years. He only uses three formats for his portraits (27×25 cm, 40×34 cm and 50×43 cm), and after several unencumbered years, decided in 1985 to paint exclusively in oils and tempera on prepared panels using the techniques of the Old Masters. These fixed rules provide the artist with an interesting field of play; once the lines have been drawn, play can begin, because countless questions still remain. In 2007, Akkerman wrote the following to one of the collectors: “(…) The depiction of the skin, the importance of style, the origin and the conclusion of painting, are there any rules, how serious must or may a painting be, the importance of true likeness, of technique, chaos, uncertainty and doubt (…) and much, much more, but most importantly who or what am I?”

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