Victor Musgrave

© the artist / Bridgeman Images. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Victor Musgrave was one of the leading London art dealers during the 1950s and 1960s. He ran Gallery One, where he showed many important European artists in London for the first time, including Yves Klein and Rufino Tamayo. Musgrave organised a controversial exhibition of 'Outsider Art' at the Hayward Gallery in 1979. He founded the Outsider Art Archive.
This portrait was not a formal commission, but came about as the result of the artist's friendship with, and admiration for, the sitter. It was made from life, its spontaneous nature apparent in the use of staining, loose washes of paint in the background, and areas of unpainted canvas functioning as a backdrop. The sitter is depicted on a plinth, a witty allusion to the gallery context, wearing his trademark poncho shawl.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Victor Musgrave




oil on canvas


H 91.4 x W 71.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 2007

Work type



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