This self-portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1899. In his left hand Kerr holds a palette and brushes, the symbols of his profession. The precise manner in which Kerr has painted this portrait is echoed in the artist’s attention to his own appearance. He is immaculately dressed and both his hair and moustache are neatly groomed.
Kerr regularly sent pictures to the Royal Academy from 1884, mainly of genre and landscape subjects. This portrait clearly reflects his growing status as both a painter and illustrator.