Just like any celebrity, artists want to be face forward too. "Look at me 500 years ago painting these dope paintings!" they'd say if they used 1990s slang. Only most of these were commissioned works and the people paying did not give them money to put their ugly mugs in the picture. But as we know, artists are crafty mofos.
Check out Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding.
The first thing we notice besides wow! what a beautiful painting, is that 15th century Italians waited for the very last minute to get married. Plus they had dog-bone shoes for their Shih Tzu. What you probably don't notice is good ole Jan hanging out with the family. Lemme show him to you:
If the painting wasn't commissioned the artist could be much bolder. Johannes Vermeer was exactly that in The Procuress.
Another century passes and painters are getting bolder. Here Francisco de Goya as Spain's Court Painter, inserts himself in this for sure court paining: The Family of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón
In modern times the artist doesn't even pretend to be painting anything else but himself. Right Norman?
And finally we have a painting of a painter painting a painting of a painting painting himself.
I did, like, 4 days of research on this here painting and I think (not sure as I don't speak German) that this is an artist and writer named Armin Peter Faust. Any of you fives of people who read this can correct me if I'm wrong.
Of course I have an Etsy. Fallen Face Studio