The painter Richard Gerstl (1883–1908) chooses an academic image type for this self-portrait. The bust portrait in three-quarter profile shows a young man in respectable, representative clothing. His narrow, exaggeratedly drooping shoulders are conspicuous. The right, asymmetrical eye casts a disturbing, wild glance with a menacing gleam. The fact that his upper body is not at all truncated by the lateral edges of the work creates a certain distance that makes the artist seem slim and appear as if he was standing far away. The green background seems brightly lit, while the dark shadow emphasizes the contours of the face. What is really experimental about this work, however, is the way the artist uses paint. Applying it dryly and pastosely, he covers the face in a solid crust, making the skin appear sickly and damaged. The ambivalent appearance in this self-portrait oscillates between serious presentation and individual unsettlement.