Stanley Spencer drew this intense self-portrait in the final months of his life, before his death from cancer, in 1959.

He was staying with friends in Yorkshire when he made the work, using a dressing-table mirror to study his reflection.

The drawing shows Spencer’s trademark short fringe; however, his face looks worn and frail compared with his appearance in earlier self-portraits. He also made an oil painting of the same composition, now held by Tate.

The Stanley Spencer Gallery exists to commemorate the life and work of the artist, and is located in the Berkshire village where he lived. The collection includes only two other self-portraits: a photolithograph showing the young artist in 1913 and an oil painting dating from 1923. This haunting work now joins them there.


By inheritance in the owner’s family, who were Patrons of Spencer and are known to the Stanley Spencer Gallery and fully documented in Gallery archive.

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