David Tindle held his first exhibition in London at the age of nineteen, and soon befriended a circle of older, more established artists which included Francis Bacon, John Craxton, Lucian Freud, John Minton and Keith Vaughan. Several of these peers – certainly Bacon, Freud and Minton – influenced his work technically and stylistically, as can be seen in Tindle’s practice in the 1950s and 1960s.
This charcoal self-portrait dates to 1963, and shows Tindle with a bandage covering one of his eyes. It has compositional similarities with his National Portrait Gallery self portrait from 1985 of which the artist commented ‘Although one is invited to inspect, or crawl over the face surface and the entrance to the slightly open mouth, the spectacles and the one eye obscured seem to hold back further inspection. The idea of the diagonal light lines and the painted edge at the bottom of the picture and the general boxing-in of the painting in composition makes it a self-contained experience.’