Somerset Maugham(1874-1965), Novelist, playwright and spy
William ('W.') Somerset Maugham
Sitter associated with 115 portraits
Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular and commercially successful authors of the twentieth century. He qualified as a doctor in 1897, but pursued his passion for writing following the publication of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, in the same year. His play Lady Frederick (1907) was his first theatrical success, and his largely autobiographical novel Of Human Bondage (1915) became a best seller. It was followed by other highly praised works The Moon and Sixpence (1919), Cakes and Ale (1930) and The Razor's Edge (1945). He wrote more than thirty plays, including Home and Beauty (1919) and The Letter (1927).
View a wide collection of video content on our YouTube channel from past projects to our latest films.
Artist and sitter interviews
Get insights into creating portraiture from BP Portrait Award 2020 artists and their sitters.
Watch our film created to say ‘goodbye’ to the Gallery before we closed for our major transformation project.