Self Portraits: Stanley Spencer

Laird Markow has chosen two self portraits by Stanley Spencer as personal favorites:: 

Self-portrait, 1914, Oil on canvas, 24 3/4 x 20 1/8"

Self-Portrait, 1959, oil on canvas, 20" x 16"

I am struck by the intense self-scrutiny of these portraits. Stanley Spencer painted one in 1959, five months before he died, when he knew he was dying of inoperable cancer. He was sixty-eight at the time. I appreciate the seeming acceptance and honesty expressed in the moment. There is also honesty and openness in the self portrait he did in 1914, when he was 23 years old. In the earlier painting he appeared to be working at perfecting his craft. The later painting has a lighter, more spontaneous approach.
Thanks Laird! 

Have some favorite self-portraits by other artists you'd like to share for this month's theme? Please email your suggestion (not your own work please) with a few words to describe why you like it. Be sure to include the title, medium, size and year.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Laird. I once visited the Tate Modern in London and came across Spencer's huge painting, "Resurrection, Cookham." It was stunning! It didn't feel religious to me, but full of life and so haunting. I had never heard of Spencer before seeing it and rarely heard of him after that, so it's good to see some of his other work in this blog.


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