Self Portrait. A self-portrait is a representation of an artist that is drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by that artist. Although self-portraits have been made since the earliest times, it is not until the Early Renaissance in the mid-15th century that artists can be frequently identified depicting themselves as either the main subject, or as important characters in their work. With better and cheaper mirrors, and the advent of the panel portrait, many painters, sculptors and printmakers tried some form of self-portraiture. Portrait of a Man in a Turban by Jan van Eyck of 1433 may well be the earliest known panel self-portrait. He painted a separate portrait of his wife, and he belonged to the social group that had begun to commission portraits, already more common among wealthy Netherlanders than south of the Alps. The genre is venerable, but not until the Renaissance, with increased wealth and interest in the individual as a subject, did it become truly popular. A self-portrait may be a portrait of the artist, or a portrait included in a larger work, including a group portrait. Many painters are said to have included depictions of specific individuals, including themselves, in painting figures in religious or other types of composition. Such paintings were not intended publicly to depict the actual persons as themselves, but the facts would have been known at the time to artist and patron, creating a talking point as well as a public test of the artist's skill. In the earliest surviving examples of medieval and Renaissance self-portraiture, historical or mythical scenes were depicted using a number of actual persons as models, often including the artist, giving the work a multiple function as portraiture, self-portraiture and history/myth painting. In these works, the artist usually appears as a face in the crowd or group, often towards the edges or corner of the work and behind the main participants. Rubens's The Four Philosophers is a good example. This culminated in the 17th century with the work of Jan de Bray. Many artistic media have been used; apart from paintings, drawings and prints have been especially important. In the famous Arnolfini Portrait, Jan van Eyck is probably one of two figures glimpsed in a mirror-a surprisingly modern conceit. The Van Eyck painting may have inspired Diego Velezquez to depict himself in full view as the painter creating Las Meninas, as the Van Eyck hung in the palace in Madrid where he worked. This was another modern flourish, given that he appears as the painter and standing close to the King's family group who were the supposed main subjects of the painting. In what may be one of the earliest childhood self-portraits now surviving, Albrecht Durer depicts himself as in naturalistic style as a 13-year-old boy in 1484. In later years he appears variously as a merchant in the background of Biblical scenes and as Christ. Leonardo da Vinci may have drawn a picture of himself at the age of 60, in around 1512. The picture is often straightforwardly reproduced as Da Vinci's appearance, although this is not certain. In the 17th century, Rembrandt painted a range of self-portraits. In The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, one of the earliest self-portraits with family, the painting probably includes Saskia, Rembrandt's wife, one of the earliest depictions of a family member by a famous artist. Family and professional group paintings, including the artist's depiction, became increasingly common from the 17th century on. From the later 20th century on, video plays an increasing part in self-portraiture, and adds the dimension of audio as well, allowing the person to speak to us in their own voice. Women artists are notable producers of self-portraits; almost all significant women painters have left an example, from Caterina van Hemessen to the prolific Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, and Frida Kahlo, as well as Alice Neel, Paula Modersohn-Becker and Jenny Saville who painted themselves in the nude. Vigee-Lebrun painted a total of 37 self-portraits, many of which were copies of earlier ones, painted for sale. Until the 20th century women were usually unable to train in drawing the nude, which made it difficult for them to paint large figure compositions, leading many artists to specialize in portrait work. Women artists have historically embodied a number of roles within their self-portraiture. Most common is the artist at work, showing themselves in the act of painting, or at least holding a brush and palette.