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


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.