This is, in fact, a self-. Sickert painted himself many times, and during the 1920s he sometimes depicted himself as a biblical figure. He made this at the age of sixty-nine, working from a squared-up which had been taken by his third wife, Therese Lessore. He intended that it should look like part of a larger wall- and observed, 'We cannot well have pictures on a large scale nowadays, but we can have small fragments of pictures on a colossal scale'. Abraham was an Old Testament patriarch, but it is not known why Sickert chose this title, or why he felt it applicable to himself.
Gallery label, August 2004