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In 1954, tired of the continual lack of attention paid to him and the Borough Group, Bomberg returned to Spain where he’d worked in the mid 1930s. He made his last works there, including a series of portraits like this.

Bomberg used an old gypsy woman as a model, but this work, like the others, is more of a statement about his own physical and mental state. Isolated and beleaguered, he became increasingly introspective, vulnerable and defensive. The title reflects a sense of watchfulness while the fragmented surface reflects, perhaps, increasing bodily collapse.

September 2004