This absorbing painting demonstrates the considerable skill and technique of the Scottish artist John Faed.

An almost exact contemporary of Queen Victoria – the two were born three months apart – John Faed was one of the central figures of an artistic family that established Galloway as an artistic hub, along with his brothers Thomas and James. In this late self-portrait Faed’s eyes fix the viewer with an enigmatic look, his penetrating gaze softened by deep shadow. The heavy contrast of light and shade around Faed’s eyes and cheeks make visible the skull beneath the skin, an effect reinforced by the parched white of his forehead; yet the colour in his cheeks and anarchic hair suggest there’s life in the artist yet.


Unknown. An Art Loss Register search has been carried out.

Dumfries Museum

Dumfries House, Cumnock, Dumfriesshire, KA18 2NJ
01387 253 374

Opening times

1 Apr – 30 Sep
Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun, 2pm – 5pm

1 Oct – 31 Mar
Tue – Sat, 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm (Closed 1-2 Jan & 25-26 Dec)

Camera Obscura
1 April - 30 Sept only

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