Self Portrait

© the artist's estate. Image credit: Ruth Borchard Collection

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Mead was about 32 years old when she painted this self portrait. Above a slender neck, the head radiates gentle authority. Here is a sensitive, questioning presence without arrogance. The picture is composed of broad brushstrokes of mostly understated colours. There is a swathe of orange around her left eye, a purple patch above and at the top of her forehead. Around the bottom of the neck is a zigzagging grey brushstroke, its genesis still clear to the eye. A sense of overall structure (what Bomberg called ‘the spirit in the mass’) predominates. Andrew Forge wrote to Borchard: ‘May I bring a painter friend, Dorothy Mead, who expressed a great desire to see your collection as she had heard about it from other artists?’ Mead followed Bomberg as a student to the City Literary Institute in London, and then to the Borough Polytechnic.

The Ruth Borchard Collection


Self Portrait




oil on canvas


H 61 x W 46 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Ruth Borchard as part of the original collection

Work type



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The Ruth Borchard Collection

Greater London England

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