Edward Alexander ('Aleister') Crowley

1 portrait on display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery

Edward Alexander ('Aleister') Crowley, by Leon Engers Kennedy, 1917-1918 - NPG 6630 - © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

© reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Alexander ('Aleister') Crowley

by Leon Engers Kennedy
oil on canvas, 1917-1918
36 in. x 24 in. (916 mm x 610 mm)
Purchased, 2003
Primary Collection
NPG 6630


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Painted from life, this image conveys the mystical and transcendental aspects of Crowley's fame, without the demonic qualities of his self-portraits. Leon Engers-Kennedy had joined Crowley's occult society in 1912, and when they re-met in New York in 1917, Engers-Kennedy gave him house-room, and they both experimented with painting. The portrait forms the frontispiece for Crowley's The Equinox (III, No.1, 1919), and the dust wrapper of John Symonds's biography, King of the Shadow Realm (1989).