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John Bellany RA, Self-portrait of John Bellany, R.A.

Self-portrait of John Bellany, R.A., 1966

John Bellany RA (1942 - 2013)

RA Collection: Art

Two great forces have influenced and preoccupied Bellany throughout his life. The first is the sea, and the second is religion. Being born into a family of fishermen and boat builders and brought up as a strict Calvinist in the village of Port Seton, near Edinburgh have both had a profound effect on Bellany's art, not only in terms of subject matter but also as a constant reminder of the frailty of human existence. This early self-portrait, which dates from Bellany's student days at the Royal College of Art, already includes references to these two great preoccupations of his life, namely in the distant seagulls circling behind his head and the crucifix hanging around his neck. Carel Weight, who owned this portrait, was head of the Painting School at the Royal College of Art at the time Bellany was a student there.

Object details

Self-portrait of John Bellany, R.A.
John Bellany RA (1942 - 2013)
Object type
Copyright owner
Oil on board

1210 mm x 910 mm x 24 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Bequeathed by Carel Weight RA 1999
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