Romanian artist Constantin Brâncuși was born on February 19, 1876.
One of the forefathers of Modernism, Brâncuși worked to support his family from a very young age. He also showed a talent for woodworking and pursued studies in Bucharest and Paris.
After a brief stint in Rodin's workshop, Brâncuși started developing his own style: geometric, seemingly-abstract shapes meant to convey the essence of an idea, rather than a realistic imitation of life.
Though he was surrounded by the avant-garde Parisian circle of intellectuals and artists, he remained attached to his Romanian roots, incorporating folklore and traditional themes in his work.
Using mostly metal and marble for his sculptures, Brâncuși also worked carefully on the works' bases, as he considered the pedestal was part of the work of art.
This self-portrait was taken in the artist's studio circa 1934.