Running in parallel with our Portrait of an Artist exhibition at Sotheran’s Rare Books & Prints, Liss Llewellyn is pleased to present this special online campaign focusing on Self-portraits, as well as Pictures of Artists by Artists.
In spite of John Singer Sargent’s quip that ‘every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend’, artists provided each other with the perfect subject matter. Unlike professional models, fellow artists usually did not have to be paid, and sittings might easily be reciprocal. Furthermore artists knew how to sit – how to sit still – and how to pose.
Many of these works shine a light on friendships forged at art school, such as Mary Adshead’s Portrait of fellow Slade student Daphne Charlton, or Barnett Freedman’s celebrated painting of his RCA contemporaries rehearsing a play: The Stanhope Street Group. Some pictures show artist’s busy at the precious moment of artistic creation, as in Francis Dodd’s Portrait of Charles Cundall, Percy Horton’s Portrait of an Artist, or Albert De Belleroche’s Portrait of Mary Cassatt, while others betray a clear sense of doting; be it reciprocal or not. This can be seen in the various drawings of Winifred Knights – famed both for her beguiling looks and her striking talent – by Colin Gill, Arnold Mason, and Sir Thomas Monnington.
This is the largest group of museum quality British self-portraits ever to be offered for sale, and the majority of these are currently on show at Sotheran’s Rare Books & Prints (2-5 Sackville Street, W1S 3DP).
The exhibition is open from 9:30 – 18:00, Monday – Friday, and draws to a close on April 1st.