Display caption

When Strang exhibited this self-portrait at the Royal Academy in 1919, he gave it the simple title ‘A Painter’, suggesting that he was striving for an effect of timelessness and universality.

Strang had been one of the innovators of the modern style in Britain, drawing on Impressionism and Symbolism, but the direct gaze and symmetry of this picture owes an obvious debt to the self-portraits of Rembrandt. Here, in his old age, Strang refers to a traditional model of the artist as a workman secluded in his studio.

September 2004