Like a final testament, Bomberg's intensely moving 'Last Self Portrait' is filled with a tragic awareness of his impending mortality. His wife Lillian described it as a "prophetic picture…he knew that this was the last portrait and that he was going to die." Bomberg didn't use a mirror, for there is no attempt to provide a literal likeness. It reveals instead Bomberg's state of mind, asserting with painful honesty his belief in 'the power of individual vision.' His head is partly obscured by his blue and pink silk scarf, his white painting coat like a shroud over his emaciated body and he grasps the palette and brushes of his profession, echoing Rembrandt van Rijn's great self portrait at Kenwood House. This is not a depressing image, however, for it is suffused with radiant light.
Where to see this painting?
Pallant House Gallery
9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex, England, PO19 1TJ
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
More on this painting
gift from Colin St John Wilson through the National Art Collections Fund