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Oil sketch of Waterhouse now at National Portrait Gallery, London
While looking for something else ... :)
I found that the oil sketch of Nino that was part of the May 2011 sale at Canterbury Auction Galleries that StB shared about with us ....
.... is now part of the National Portrait Gallery collection.
From the website information written by Carol Blackett-Ord:
"This sketched head of John William Waterhouse remained with the sitter’s family until it was sold in May 2011. The sitter’s identity was not in doubt; and it was regarded as a self-portrait. In 2002 Peter Trippi, the leading authority on Waterhouse, questioned the attribution. He suggested that the sketch was not a self-portrait but painted by William Logsdail, Waterhouse’s neighbour at Primrose Hill Studios."
"The portrait was sent to auction by John Physick, Waterhouse’s great-nephew, at the Canterbury Auction Galleries, 24 May 2011 (260). It was catalogued as a self-portrait by Waterhouse and given a low estimate. It is painted on board, possibly a reused sketchbook cover, and is thickly varnished. In Trippi’s words this head is ‘absolutely a modern-life image made by a trusted colleague/friend’; with the added value, from the National Portrait Gallery’s point of view, of being the only known painted head of Waterhouse, and the first example of Logsdail’s work to enter the Collection. The attribution to Logsdail has been established beyond doubt."
Here's a link to view Logsdail's painting, Bank and the Royal Exchange, mentioned in the NPG notes.
I've been used for so long to thinking of this as a self-portrait. The style is certainly not far off and the subject so different from his usual that you'd expect some variation in technique - it's close enough you wouldn't be looking to say it's not his. Still, I rather like the idea that another artist found it worthwhile to paint Waterhouse, rather than Waterhouse doing it on his own. I find it very easy to believe that Waterhouse wouldn't be terribly interested in painting himself unless he happened to need an extra face in a picture and his own was the most easily available. I wonder if a close inspection of the actual work would make it clearer that it's made by another artist? The clues listed are not giveaways to me. I can't make out brushwork that's not correct.
Thanks for the info, Cathy (first find of 2012! :)). I'm like David in always thinking it was a Nino self-portrait. Did he not use himself in Danae? Still, it's a great likeness and portrait.
The model for the Danae, the merman, and for Ulysses in The Sirens is probably the same man, and not Nino. Think about how an artist would do a self portrait painted three quarters away from his view. I didn't know there was any real question that the oil sketch of Nino was by Logsdail. I've just been looking at some of Logsdail's work, in particular a little scene of a Venetian courtyard - same brushwork. Also remember from The Royal Exchange that Nino and Logsdail were perfectly capable of painting like the other.
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