Period: The return to England

Self-portrait Self-portrait
painted in France, c. 1931
oil on board 35 x 27 cm
signed l.r., incised “STELLA/BOWEN”, not dated
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
bequest of Ramon Guthrie
P.977.266.3

Stella Bowen painted several self-portraits; however, until very recently, the c. 1928 version was the only one that had been located. This later self-portrait was originally in the collection of her American friend Ramon Guthrie. It is possible it was one of the works that Bowen brought with her to the United States and exhibited at Dartmouth College in 1932.

Whereas the earlier self-portrait is characterised by bold colours and decorative curves, in this one Bowen has reverted to the use of a muted palette. However, Bowen has retained the effect of shadows falling across her features.