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David Hockney ('The Student - Homage to Picasso')

© David Hockney 1973

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David Hockney ('The Student - Homage to Picasso')

by David Hockney
etching, 1973
22 1/2 in. x 17 5/8 in. (572 mm x 435 mm)
Purchased, 1979
Primary Collection
NPG 5280

Sitterback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Sitter in 49 portraits, Artist associated with 14 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Artist associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 49 portraits.

This portraitback to top

A leading figure in the Pop Art movement, Hockney's later portraits, swimming pool scenes and illustrations have earned him an international popularity. Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, and based from 1977 in Los Angeles, he is also celebrated for his stage designs and photography. The full title of this self-portrait is The Student - Homage to Picasso and Hockney has shown himself, portfolio under his arm, contemplating a large head of Picasso mounted on a plinth.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Gibson, Robin; Clerk, Honor, 20th Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1993, p. 32 Read entry

    One of a handful of 20th Century British artists to achieve an international reputation, Hockney's work owes greater allegiance to his adopted California than to his Bradford background. Best known for the flat acrylic paintings of swimming pools such portraits as Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (1970-1, Tate Gallery), Hockney's work embraces superb line drawings and etchings, theatre design, photographic collage, bright Californian landscapes and, most recently, Fax art. The etching's title acknowledges Hackney's debt to his greatest mentor.

    Hockney's only commissioned portrait, of the Royal Opera House administrator David Webster, also hangs in the Late 20th Century Galleries.

  • Howgate, Sarah; Stern Shapiro, Barbara; Glazebrook; Mark; White, Edmund; Livingstone, Marco, David Hockney Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 October 2006 to 21 January 2007), p. 64 Read entry

    While visiting Crommelynck's studio, Hockney produced two etchings in honour of Picasso who had died that same year: Artist and Model and The Student - Homage to Picasso, both of which were in the spirit of Picasso's own Vollard Suite.

  • Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 57 Read entry

    Hockney, seen in profile, pays homage to his hero Picasso, whose 1960 retrospective at the Tate, London, had a significant impact on him. In 1974 Hockney produced another etching of them together entitled Artist and Model showing them seated opposite each other across a table. Hockney comments ‘This etching is drawn from a photograph of Picasso, I would love to have met him, even just once’.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 306

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1973back to top

Current affairs

With the international oil crisis, and British coal miners 'working to rule' (a form of partial strike), Prime Minister Edward Heath implements the 'three day week' for industry in order to prolong fuel stocks.

Art and science

Pink Floyd release Dark Side of the Moon. The album opens with the sound of a heartbeat and instead of a set of individual songs, each track merges into the next to create a continuous piece of music. The LP was one of the most commercially successful albums of all time.


The Arab-Israeli conflict continues with the Yom Kippur War. Egypt and Syria invaded Israel followed shortly by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The conflict lasted for just 18 days before a UN ceasefire was put into place. The events led to an increase in the price of Arab oil, causing economic problems in the West.

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