Titian’s Self-Portrait at the Prado
Painted in his 70s, Titian’s self-portrait shows
Him holding his gold and brown-flecked thin
Paintbrush between the index and middle fingers
Of his right hand. Turned facing to his right,
He paints himself looking away from the viewer.
He sets his black skull cap and coat against a dark
Brown background. The white ruffle of his shirt
And the thin gold double strands of his necklace
Pick up the light brown of his right hand and paintbrush.
His gold necklace is the chain of a Knight of a Golden Spur
Granted by Charles V. The number 695
Is painted in red as if a ring on his right little finger.
His eyes shine black; his beard, a whitish grey; his
Skin, wrinkled with age. Rubens owned this unsigned
Self-portrait of the artist.
John Beall’s first book of poems, Self-Portraits, was published in 2019 by The Finishing Line Press. The poems, “Self-Portraits” and “November 22, 1963,” were awarded the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize in 2016 and 2017. His poems have appeared in The Henry James Review, Slant, MidAmerica, and Poems for Hemingway and Paris. His poem, “View of Mount Atalaya,” appeared in the summer 2021 issue of Slant. His poem, “Goya’s Self-Portrait at the Prado,” is due out next year in the collection: Song Up Out of Spain, to be published by Clemson University Press.
The Ekphrastic Review
Find a writer, artist, or poem, etc. by searching here: