What does the artist mean when he say's he put to much of himself into that painting in "The Picture of Dorian Gray"?Because he says that he doesn't want to put up the painting in the...

What does the artist mean when he say's he put to much of himself into that painting in "The Picture of Dorian Gray"?

Because he says that he doesn't want to put up the painting in the gallery because he feels he put to much of himself into it.. I don't understand what he means by that.

Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is such an incredible book.  Basil Hallward does not put the picture of Dorian in the gallery because he is afraid what people will see in it.  It is a beautiful rendition and likeness of the subject--Basil, unmarried and dedicated to his art, is the one true friend that Dorian Gray has in this story.  It may be that he has tendencies toward homosexuality and that perhaps the care he has taken in creating such a detail-oriented and lovely likeness of Dorian might give away the secret he has been hiding?  That is might be in love with Dorian?  At any rate, that is one reading.  It could also be interpreted that, like any artist, with each piece created you put much of your inner self in it.  They are each an extension of yourself, each with a different piece of the artist and a different mood expressed.  Perhaps it is that Basil has put so much of himself in the painting of Dorian that he fears others will be able to read him clearly and he wishes to keep that part of himself--his mood, his opinion of Dorian, his love of beauty and art--private.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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