If I had to choose one inspirational portrait.......

  • If I was asked who my all time favourite portrait artist is I would have to say that without a doubt it would have to be the British figurative painter Sir Stanley Spencer(1891-1959). I admire Spencer’s work because it resonates with a distinctive and individualistic style.He is perhaps best known for his many paintings of Christian themes  in contemporary settings but he was also a formidable portrait,landscape and English garden painter- defying any attempt to place him in a specific artistic box.He refused to join any artistic group and remained an independent painter to the end of his days. My favourite work of all is his first self portrait painted in 1914(see above)What I love about this painting is the quite wonderful contrast between his use of Chiaroscuro ,the dark classical colours in the background,the hair and the shadows in the face - and - the modern, individualistic treatment of the features.The modelling of the face is strong,the neck is stylishly elongated and the gaze is intense - the eyes drag the viewer into the painting.For me this portrait has real emotional depth and is psychologically powerful.I have gazed at this image many times and never tire of the psychological pull of it’s enigmatic gaze .

Date Published:

April 29, 2019



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