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This is one of a series of self-portraits that Bomberg painted in the 1930s, at his home in Fordwych Road, London. This was a particularly difficult time for the artist who was striving for a footing in the art world.

The portraits were all made using a large mirror in which the artist scrutinised his features from various angles. In his honest scrutiny of himself as a balding introverted character, Bomberg’s work of this period recalls Rembrandt’s great series of searching self-portraits, made three hundred years earlier.

August 2004