The painting “The Artist and the Expert” (“Self-portrait with the customer”) was made by Flemish artist Peter Brueghel the Elder in 1565 with ink and pen on paper.
Genre - self portrait.
The artist occupies the central place of the work; the customer looks over his shoulder. The head of the master is turned three quarters. Most of the face is covered with a beard and hair. Only the eyes, nose, mouth and cheek remain open. Under the frowning thick eyebrows are eyes full of concentration and deep interest, trying to cover the whole picture. The corners of the tightly closed lips are down. It seems that the artist chews, tastes his work.
On thick disheveled hair - a round hat. The artist is dressed in a jacket made of simple material, tied with a thin belt. Sleeves are wrapped, open chiseled, like wooden, hands. Roughly worked, angular fingers and a brush are completely unlike the soft contours of the face. Hands are accustomed to openly, easily and firmly hold the brush. They seem to live their own 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.
A customer peeps out from behind the artist. It is painted in profile. Eyes are hidden behind the glasses. The viewer can catch in that small part of the eye that is open to him, only some interest, curiosity in the work of the master. The nose is huge. Mouth - narrow half-open lye. His face is worked out by deeper, more confident lines than the image of the artist. In the guise of the customer there is not a hint of sensuality, kindness, respect for the creator, his inspiration and work. It seems that even looking at the picture, the hero is only engaged in counting money.
The customer is dressed in a simple jacket with a belt. The sleeves are not turned away, the hand is almost completely hidden, only the part of the fist in which the wallet is hidden is visible.
The picture is clear and tragic. A spiritually rich, but poor in terms of money, master is opposed to a rich but spiritually poor customer.
The work is in the Albertina Museum of Graphic Art, Vienna.