Augustus John (1878 - 1961):
Portrait of the Artist, 1902-06
Framed (ref: 1148)
Original cancelled copper plate
4.9 x 3.9 in. (12.5 x 10 cm)
Provenance: Russell Barnes Esq
Literature: Lit: Campbell Dodgson, Catalogue raisonne, No 9
Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.252.
25 impressions were published in 1906.
Michael Campbell has pointed out that this work dates from c.1901/02. The 1906 sometimes associated with the work relates to when Knewstub printed his Chenil Gallery edition. The reference is Campbell Dodgson 9.
Augustus John’s remarkable self-portrait etchings are the most sought after of the considerable body of prints to have been made by this famous Welsh artist. Thought to have been etched during Augustus John’s stay in Liverpool, where he taught at the University from 1901-1902, this etching was not published in a formal edition until issued by the Chenil Gallery in 1906, when 25 proofs were printed from this plate. The plate was then scored with cancellation lines and was stored carefully - it remains exactly as left by Augustus John and Knewstub in 1906.
Of all of Augustus John’s searching self-portrait etchings, Portrait of the Artist: bust, in an oval is perhaps the most deeply introspective, betraying the most sensitive aspects of the artist’s true character. Worked with care and detail, there is an intensity to this highly personal study shared only by the artist’s magnificent Tête Farouche.
We are grateful to Michael Campbell for assistance.