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

Summary

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

Gallery text panel Tradition and Experiment Early Twentieth-Century Art 1900 - 1939. In Britain, the beginning of the 20th century coincided with the end of the Victorian age. Artists and designers experimented, challenging traditional ways of seeing and making; now trying to create a new art for a modern era. In painting, it was often traditional subject matter such as portraits, landscapes and interiors that would be tackled in new ways. The bustle and the brutality of urban life was an inspiration or something to escape from. Boundaries became increasingly blurred between design and decoration, painting and making and individual expression replaced academic authority. Art was made to be affordable and at a scale that would fit into ordinary homes. Some called the celebration of the modern into question after the horrors of the First World War. Traditional imagery was simplified or became childlike and slowly broke down into fragmented visions. Dream and chance tapped into subconscious anxieties and in 1939, world war intervened once again.


Object Name

Portrait of the Artist as the Painter Raphael

Creators Name

W. Lewis

Date Created

1921

Dimensions

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

accession number

1925.579

Collection Group

fine art
Painting
British

Place of creation

England

Support

canvas over hardboard

Medium

oil on canvas over hardboard

Credit

Gift of Mr Charles Lambert Rutherston, 1925

Legal

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


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