Only two self-portraits of Achilles De Maertelaere are known. Although he had himself photographed willingly (there are a whole series of portraits of him known), he did not consider himself an ideal painting object.
A first portrait is only known from an old photograph. Apparently, it is a pencil drawing. It dates from 1904, Achilles was then 22 years old. The artist looks with confidence, straight at the viewer, in a very classic way as we know it from Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Kahlo, Manet, Cézanne and so many others.
The other portrait is very unusual. This is a drawing in Chinese ink. The older painter (the work is not dated) reads a book and rests with his left arm on a stylized column. This technique is only known to Bentos in this work. Achilles Bentos had clearly mastered this technique, though it was an unusual technique for him. The skill with which the impressive head and the costume are rendered bear witness to this. The latter work is part of a Belgian private collection.
Translated with the help of DeepL