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William Powell Frith RA, Self-portrait of William Powell Frith, R.A.

Self-portrait of William Powell Frith, R.A., 1883

William Powell Frith RA (1819 - 1909)

RA Collection: Art

This portrait was painted when the artist was aged sixty-four and was engraved for the frontispiece of the second volume of the artist’s book My Autobiography and Reminiscences, published in 1887. In this volume Frith encouraged young artists to paint themselves as he felt that ‘better practice than the reproduction of his own features cannot be followed.’ He was also conscious of recording his own image as a successful artist as he noted that ‘nearly all the great painters … have come down to us limned by their own hands’.

An inscription on the back of this portrait records that he gave it to Ronald Alford in 1908, the son of Frith’s mistress, whom he married after the death of his first wife.

Object details

Self-portrait of William Powell Frith, R.A.
Object type
Oil on canvas

1035 mm x 814 mm x 23 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by D. Levin 1929

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