Graham Sutherland OM
Somerset Maugham 1949

Artwork details

Somerset Maugham
Date 1949
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1372 x 635 mm
frame: 1610 x 883 x 81 mm
Acquisition Presented by Lady John Hope 1951
Not on display

Display caption

This was the first of many portraits by Sutherland, mostly of either friends or distinguished elderly people. He met Maugham, the famous novelist and dramatist, at St Jean Cap Ferrat, and was invited to paint his portrait. Maugham was then aged seventy-five. The bamboo stool and background colour, like that of the robes of Buddhist monks, were intended to refer to the setting of many of Maugham's novels and short stories in the Far East. The portrait was painted from drawings made by Sutherland during about ten one hour sittings with Maugham.

August 2004

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