Portrait of the Scottish-born writer Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999), the artist's close friend and collaborator, seated at a table with an open book on her knee.

The crucifixion in the background is a reference to the book she is writing, 'The Blood of the Martyrs', and also as a private joke since both artist and sitter has equivocal attitudes towards organised religion. Her intense look of concentration was the result of having to compose the novel in her head whilst maintaining her pose.


Naomi Mitchison.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH2 1JD
0131 624 6200

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm. (6pm during August).

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