American Impressionist and painter of beautiful landscapes, Willard Metcalf spent most of his time in New England but also captured scenes in other lands. Additionally, as a young man he hung around the Zuni Indian tribe to observe them and illustrate a series of magazine articles, going along on an ethnological expedition with anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing. There's an interesting article in Antiques & the Arts magazine about Metcalf and this self-portrait done in 1890, noting how the half-shadowed look to it indicates that he wasn't quite sure about his artistic future. It might also seem like there was a darker, troubled side beyond Metcalf's lovely style that he subconsciously or consciously was showing us--an inner restlessness and tendency to drink a bit more than he should have--ironically all part of a man who painted such calmly inviting scenes.
"Go out and paint what you see and forget your theories." Willard Metcalf (1858-1925)