Hidden Gems II: Heads

Almost all artists produce portraits at some point in their careers. This online exhibition includes a diverse number of examples.
Edith Rimmington’s ‘prize fight’ deals with our habitually prejudiced concept of man and animal in a deeply ironic way, comparing the phrenologist approach of man’s mind with that of a butcher. A more realistic approach allows the artist to demonstrate his or her skills as a trained draughtsman. Robert Austin’s Portrait of a Young Girl, 1936 shows an extraordinary sweetness of line in what is a beautifully unified composition.

Campbell Dodgson, keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, who compiled the standard reference work on Austins’ work, was sufficiently moved to compare his work to that of Durer noting that Austin had more than a touch of that master in him’. In a similar manner, Arnold Mason’s portrait of Winifred Knights reveals such proficiency that through the subtle use of light and contrast, Mason manages to combine both a sense of serenity and urgency: the moment is slipping away as her awakening could be imminent. This, in part, explains why despite the unfinished nature of the sketch, Mason may have chosen to focus primarily on the subject’s facial features. Another profile portrait of Winifred Knights is included in this series by Sir Thomas Monnington, whom Knights married subsequently to her engagement with Arnold Mason. Whilst portraits do not necessarily have to be of friends, family or lovers, this is a pattern within artistic circles: Mason and Knights, Knights and Gill, Dodd and Phibbs or even Stanley’s portrait of Gilbert as a young boy all show close proximity between the artist and the subject. Portraits of soldiers, models and self-portraits can also be seen in this series.

Works FEATURED in this Exhibition

Sold
Edith Rimmington
Prize Fight, circa 1960
Joseph Southall
Anna Elizabeth Baker (study for The Coral Necklace), c.1894
£12,750.00
Sold
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence
A Northumberland Fusilier, 1916
Winifred Knights
Portrait of Colin Gill, c.1921
£10,000.00
Hubert Arthur Finney
A British Red Cross Society Volunteer 1941
£1,875.00
Sold
Robert Austin
Portrait of a Young Girl, 1936
Forthcoming
Stanley Spencer
Portrait of Gilbert
Forthcoming
Gilbert Spencer
Portrait of a Soldier, circa 1940
Sold
Roger Hilton
Self portrait, mid 1930’s
Hubert Arthur Finney
Portrait of a Woman, circa 1920
£1,800.00
Forthcoming
Philip Naviasky
Self portrait, c.1920
Forthcoming
Sir Thomas Monnington
Portrait of Winifred Knights, circa 1931
Arnold Mason
Portrait of Winifred Knights Sleeping, c.1920
£17,500.00