Augustus Edwin John O.M. (British, 1878-1961) Self Portrait 39.7 x 35.6 cm. (15 5/8 x 14 in.) (Executed circa 1901)
Lot 40* AR
Augustus Edwin John O.M.
(British, 1878-1961)
Self Portrait 39.7 x 35.6 cm. (15 5/8 x 14 in.)
Sold for £86,500 (US$ 115,714) inc. premium

Lot Details
Augustus Edwin John O.M. (British, 1878-1961)
Self Portrait
signed 'John' (centre right)
pencil
39.7 x 35.6 cm. (15 5/8 x 14 in.)
Executed circa 1901

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Harold Eves, thence by family descent to the present owner
    Private Collection, U.K.

    After leaving the Slade in 1898 at the age of 20, Augustus John's draughtsmanship was already being compared to the techniques of the Old Masters. John's habit of combining swiftly drawn bold lines with delicate pencil work characterises some of his very best drawings - drawings that were made on the spur of the moment as opposed to the numerous commissioned portraits of later years. This self-portrait has not been seen in public for over a century, so it is all the more surprising to be confronted with the steady, clear gaze of the young artist looking straight out at us from beneath a fez hat. It makes an interesting comparison with his self-portrait etchings, executed 1901 -1906, in which the artist poses in different hats, altering his appearance and perhaps becoming a stranger to himself. We see him in a broad brimmed hat, a high crowned hat, a fur cap, and 'in a hat with untidy hair and beard', a description that could equally fit the present work, and which makes it seem so alive.

    We are grateful to Rebecca John for compiling this catalogue entry.

    Harold 'Bunny' Eves was a solicitor and represented a number of the artists in the first half of the 20th century - possibly including Augustus John - whom he knew through his brother Reginald Grenville Eves R.A., a noted portrait painter whose sitters included Lawrence of Arabia and Thomas Hardy. It is probable that the present work was acquired by Eves on the advice of his close friend Jack Knewstubbe of the Chenil Gallery.
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