Hans von Marées made self-portraits in all phases of his work, especially during his early years. In this powerful, early self-portrait, Marées reveals himself to be sensitive and vulnerable. He has spontaneously turned his eyes away from the darkness, but his gaze, darkened by the flat incidence of light from the side, does not engage the viewer. Rather, it appears that this is a private moment of melancholic self-reflection, captured in spiritual solitude. In the restrained colors, the use of light as a central means of composition, and its psychological undertones, this self-portrait is strongly redolent of early self-portraits by Rembrandt. Marées studied the Old Master intensively during his years in Munich, until 1864. This self-portrait of the “German in Rome” (referring to the group of German artists who lived there) was thought to have been lost during World War II, until it was returned from the Ukraine in 1995.