Manchester Art Gallery

Portrait of the Artist as the Painter Raphael

W. Lewis, 1882 - 1957

Portrait of the Artist as the Painter Raphael

W. Lewis 1882 - 1957


A stylised three-quarter, right side head and chest portrait of the artist in his studio. He is seated wearing a brown jacket and hat, with a canvas and mantelpiece in the background to the left. On the mantelpiece is a pink clock, and the background is painted in a deep red colour. With playful irreverence, Wyndham Lewis explores a lineage with the Renaissance in this post-war self portrait, Lewis considered himself a 'classicist' and the mask-like features and blank stare of this portrait deny any impression of emotion or introspection. Instead the portrait acts as a statement of the artist's own self-restraint with his dispassionate interpretation of external surfaces and abstract form.

Display Label

Portrait of the Artist as the Painter Raphael 1921 Wyndham Lewis 1882 - 1957 Oil on canvas over hardboard There is a long tradition of artists painting themselves. This self-portrait is one of a series Lewis produced, each dramatising a different aspect of his personality. The reference to Raphael may be reverential or ironic. What relates this man in a brown jacket, with a windsor chime clock on the mantelpiece, to the great Italian Renaissance artist? The calmness of this painting contrasts with Lewis's earlier dynamic, abstract works. These were a celebratory response to modernity and the machine age. Later, Lewis reassessed this position after experiencing the reality of modern technology on the front line during the First World War. Presented by Charles L Rutherston 1925.579

Object Name

Portrait of the Artist as the Painter Raphael

Creators Name

W. Lewis

Date Created



unframed: 76.3cm x 68.6cm
framed: 98cm x 90.7cm

accession number


Collection Group

fine art

Place of creation



canvas over hardboard


oil on canvas over hardboard


Gift of Mr Charles Lambert Rutherston, 1925


© Estate of Mrs G. A. Wyndham Lewis. By permission.

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