• Bomber Crew Bomber crew
    painted in London, 1944
    oil on canvas 86.1 x 63.3 cm
    signed l.r., oil “STELLA/BOWEN”, not dated
    Australian War Memorial
    acquired under official war art scheme, 1944


    Portraiture was Stella's passion. She painted hundreds of works, largely commissioned by others, but also of friends and family, along with a handful of self-portraits. Stella's portraiture work was partly motivated by her need to earn money, as commissioned portraits were a well-paid and dependable source of income. However, she also had a real love for this type of art and often experimented with the form (as seen most successfully in Bomber crew).


    Assemble examples of portraits or self-portraits from websites, art books, or even current magazines and newspapers.

    • Choose a portrait and describe the sitter's clothes. Why is the person wearing these clothes?
    • Describe the sitter's pose or gesture. What do these imply?
      Why do you think each subject was selected and an artist commissioned to create this portrait?
    • Do you think this portrait was intended to be displayed in a public or a private place?

    Want to explore other portraits?