The painting “The Artist and the Expert” (“Self-portrait with the customer”) was made by the Flemish artist Peter Bruegel the Elder in 1565 with ink and pen on paper.
Genre – self-portrait.
The artist takes the central place of the work, the customer looks over his shoulder. The head of the master is turned by three quarters. Most of the face is covered with beard and hair. Only the eyes, nose, mouth and cheek remain open. Under the thick, thick brows of his eye are eyes full of concentration and deep interest, trying to cover the whole picture. Corners tightly closed lips down. The impression is that the artist is chewing, tasting his work.
On thick disheveled hair – a round cap. The artist is dressed in a jacket of simple material, tied with a thin belt. The sleeves are wrapped, open turned, like wooden, hands. Roughly worked out, angular fingers and brush absolutely no resemblance to the soft contours of the face. Hands are accustomed to openly, easily and firmly hold the brush. It seems that they live their lives, have the energy and power to give life.
The whole image of the master is imbued with depth, sophistication, elegance and love for his work.
From behind the artist’s back looks out the customer. It is drawn in profile. Eyes hiding behind glasses. The viewer can catch in that small part of the eye that is open to him, only a certain interest, curiosity about the work of the master. The nose is huge. The mouth is a narrow half-open slit. His face is worked out deeper, more confident lines than the image of the artist. In the appearance of the customer there is not a hint of sensuality, kindness, respect for the creator, his inspiration and work. It seems, even looking at the picture, the hero is engaged only in what counts money.
The customer is wearing a simple jacket with a belt. The sleeves are not unscrewed, the arm is almost completely hidden, only part of the fist is visible, in which the wallet is hidden.
The picture is clear and tragic. Spiritually rich, but poor in terms of money, the master is opposed to a rich, but spiritually poor customer.
The work is kept in the Albertina Museum of Graphic Art, Vienna.