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Henry Moore

Henry Moore, by Henry Moore,  -NPG 2429 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Henry Moore

by Henry Moore
Oil on canvas laid on board
23 in. x 19 1/8 in. (585 mm x 487 mm)
NPG 2429

Inscriptionback to top

On back of board inscr. in ink: ‘from the Collection of James Matthews, Esqr. / who had this sketch from the Artist’;
faded chalk figures vertically aligned: ‘60 / 2 / 098’.
Detached label (fragment): ‘Henry Moo … / by himself / Left by Lewis Edwards Esq. / 5 Oxford Terrace / April 1915’.

This portraitback to top

This is a rare and otherwise undocumented self-portrait by a painter known for vivid seascapes, in which he presents himself in the character of vagabond artist or perhaps muleteer. It was presumably executed in Moore’s youth, before he acquired the thick dark beard seen in photographs, and possibly during or after his visits to France and Switzerland in the mid-1850s. Only the features are carefully worked, the hat, ear and even hand being loosely sketched. The surface is damaged and abraded in small areas. Virtually nothing is known of the two men named as previous owners, [1] and the circumstances of its accession are obscure.

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) James Matthews may have been the minor painter listed in the index of the Witt L., Courtauld Inst., London.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head, wearing hat, looking into distance, moustache, right hand to chin, arm and shoulders sketched in.

Conservationback to top

conserved 1996

Provenanceback to top

James Matthews; Lewis Edwards, from whom acquired 1915.

View all known portraits for Henry Moore


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