The Fascinating Self-Portraits of 20 Famous Authors


They say writing is a form of self-expression — but it’s not the only one. And if we had to guess, we’d bet that many of our favorite authors have a little bit more going on in their heads than the average person, so it makes sense to us that their creativity might spill out into other mediums. To that end, we’ve curated a small selection of wonderful visual self-portraits by famous authors — from scribbles to full-on oil paintings, from cheeky one-offs to serious painterly studies. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

Flannery O’Connor, with attendant fair fowl (of course), 1953

Sylvia Plath, 1951

Henry Miller, 1946

e.e. cummings, 1939

Kurt Vonnegut, 1995

Margaret Atwood, 1975

Charles Bukowski, date unknown.

William S. Burroughs, 1959.

Mark Twain, 1902.

Allen Ginsberg, 1994.

Cormac McCarthy, 1975.

Edgar Allan Poe, date unknown.

Jack Kerouac, c. 1960.

Charles Baudelaire, 1860.

Truman Capote, date unknown.

Hunter S. Thompson, c. 1960.

Hermann Hesse, 1917.

Tom Wolfe, 1975.

D.H. Lawrence, 1929.

Jorge Luis Borges, after he had gone blind, 1975.