Portrait of a Woman is one of a series of works of the same name by the Yorkshire-born artist Ian McKeever.

Each painting in the series is made up of three separate panels, a form which references religious triptychs and altarpieces. McKeever was born in Withernsea, a seaside town close to Hull. He studied English literature before turning to painting in 1969. After a long period of making landscapes his work became more abstract during the 1980s.

The works in the Portrait of a Woman series are closely linked to three seminal paintings made by McKeever in 1994-95, all in homage to the 19th-century explorer Marianne North. The more recent paintings follow the same horizontal format, and appear as divided sequences of light and bodily presence. Each central panel is flanked by fields of intense colour.

The title of McKeever’s series alludes to early Italian portrait painting. The Ferens Art Gallery collection is particularly strong in portraiture.


The artist

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