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1890 – 1957

Double Self-Portrait (back)
Oil on board
59 x 50 cm
Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by HM Government, 1992 © The Estate of David Bomberg. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones


This is one of a series of self-portraits Bomberg made in the 1930s. Born in Birmingham to an impoverished Jewish-Polish immigrant family, Bomberg struggled to find a footing in the art world. Financial difficulties may explain why he chose to paint on both sides of the canvas.

The artist subsequently applied this style of stark, thickly built up colour to the landscapes of England, and especially Spain and Palestine. Now considered one of the most influential British painters of the twentieth century, Bomberg remained largely overlooked during his lifetime.