Craigie Aitchison

1 portrait on display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery

Craigie Aitchison, by Craigie Aitchison, circa late 1950s-early 1960s - NPG 6933 - © estate of Craigie Aitchison / Bridgeman Art Library

© estate of Craigie Aitchison / Bridgeman Art Library

Craigie Aitchison

by Craigie Aitchison
oil on canvas, circa late 1950s-early 1960s
24 in. x 20 in. (610 mm x 508 mm)
Purchased with help from Terence and Angela Danziger Miles and Sir Paul Smith, 2012
Primary Collection
NPG 6933

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Craigie Aitchison usually painted visionary and religious subjects, as well as rendering motifs such as trees, birds and dogs in radiant colours. At the height of his career, shortly after having been elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Aitchison slashed through the face on this self-portrait when a studio visitor remarked that the portrait was flattering. Aitchison subsequently had it restored, but ensured that the marks left by the lacerations remained. Obviously sensitive to the scrutiny of others, perhaps he felt that his actions had improved the portrait by presenting a more fallible human being.

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