Self portrait with glasses, Hugh Ramsay
  • Artist
    Hugh Ramsay
  • Born
    1877
  • Died
    1906
  • Title
    Self portrait with glasses
  • Date of Production
    c. 1904
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    31.0 x 23.2 cm
  • Credit Details
    Gift from the Estate of J.O. Wicking, 2003

Hugh Ramsay

Self portrait with glasses

Glasgow born, Hugh Ramsay arrived with his family in Victoria in 1878.  Considered to be one of Australia's finest tonalist painters Ramsay trained at the National Gallery School (1895-99) before setting out for Europe in 1900.  On arriving in Paris, Ramsay decided that he would have to "reinvent" himself and within two years  he was invited to exhibit at the New Salon.   Unfortunately ill health intervened and Ramsay returned to Australia in 1902 where he died of tuberculosis four  years later at the age of 28.

This self portrait is one of more than two dozen self portraits known to have been painted by the artist, who was often too poor to hire other sitters.  Using a restricted colour scheme  Ramsay  aimed to realize a three dimensional space in which the sitter was an element.  This version, which was one of his last and the only one in which he is wearing glasses, is an excellent example.