Hugh RAMSAY, Self-portrait Enlarge 1 /1


Glasgow, Scotland 1877 – Clydebank', Essendon, Melbourne , Victoria, Australia 1906

  • Australia from 1878
  • England and France 1900-02

Self-portrait [Self-portrait] c1902 Place made: Paris, Île-de-France, Ville de Paris department, France
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas

Primary Insc: No inscriptions
Dimensions: 45.8 h x 40.4 w cm framed (overall) 890 h x 790 w x 105 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1965
Accession No: NGA 65.150
  • Private collection.
  • Purchased by the C.A.A.B. (Commonwealth Art Advisory Board), 1965.
  • Transferred to the Australian National Gallery Collection, 18 July 1990.

Life models were an expense that Hugh Ramsay, like many expatriate artists, could not often afford outside their classes at the most popular Académies; Delécluze, Colarossi or Julian. To quench his voracious desire to paint and experiment at every opportunity, Ramsay often depicted himself.

This is one of over twenty-five self-portraits painted by Ramsay during a period of three years. His bravura brush work and bold use of white paint reveal his growing admiration for London-based, American painter John Singer Sargent’s sumptuous society portraits painted during the late nineteenth century and into the Edwardian era.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Miriam kelly, Capital & Country: The Federation Years 1900 – 1913, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013