Study: My Mother and the Cross

© the artist. Image credit: Lakeland Arts

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Celia Paul’s most frequent sitter over the past twenty years has been her mother. Here she is portrayed gazing out of a window. The title of the painting alludes to her mother’s Christian faith, and the symbolism of the cross is implied by the bars of the window. A spiritual atmosphere is suggested by the evocative handling of light and space.

Celia Paul’s portraits of her mother are usually painted in dense layers of thick oil paint, giving them a monumental presence. However, in this ‘study’, she uses thin washes and rapid brush marks which reveal her powerful drawing skills.

Abbot Hall



Study: My Mother and the Cross




oil on canvas


H 143 x W 143 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends, Patrons and Benefactors of the Lakeland Arts Trust, 2007

Work type



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Abbot Hall

Kirkland, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 5AL England

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