In this unfinished self-portrait the artist depicted himself in profile from the left and with a serious and attentive look. He dispensed with any attributes of his art, such as brush or easel, and did not adopt an artificial pose, contenting himself with a clearly circumscribed partial view.
Swynnerton’s righteousness in fighting for freedom of speech and expression never gets better than it does in the painting of a quietly confident Henry James. He lived during her times, but he was also an elderly person for her times. He died in 1915, when Swynnerton had already gained recognition as a British political activist, painter and intellectual. Until then, James had left a legacy that was unparalleled by any contemporary visionary, thinker or philosopher. Henry James was one of the most forward-thinking visionaries of the 19th Century. His fight for independent expression resounded with feminists and suffragettes of the time. It is no surprise that Swynnerton would take time out to paint a rather confident-looking portrait of Henry James. Although James looks rather worried […]