Self Portrait with Candles

Image credit: Ben Uri Collection

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This work combines Lily Delissa Joseph’s interest in portraiture and interiors with an observance of the Jewish Sabbath, indicated by her covered head and the two Sabbath candles. Delissa Joseph admired Rembrandt and his use of light and shadow visibly influenced this painting, which also shows her characteristic use of a limited colour palette. The donor, Gertrude Salaman (1887–1982), was the artist's niece. Delissa Joseph studied art at the Royal Academy and the Ridley School of Art, but was also involved with the Woman’s Suffrage Movement and was once detained in Holloway prison. One of the first women to own and drive a car, she also learnt to fly in the 1920s. The self-portrait depicts her as a self-confident woman with a spiritual and contemplative side.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum



Self Portrait with Candles




oil on canvas


H 105.5 x W 59.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Gertrude Salaman (née Lowy), 1946

Work type


Inscription description



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Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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