© The Artist's Family

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Self-Portrait 1937
This dark, brooding self-portrait was painted in Hampstead in 1937. It is one of a series of introspective works painted that year, which reflect the artist's depression following a number of setbacks. The Tate Gallery had declined to acquire any of his works for their collection; the situation in Nazi Germany was becoming increasingly black, with Jewish artists forbidden to exhibit; and the Civil War in Bomberg's beloved Spain continued. Bomberg, who was Jewish, became actively involved in anti-fascist activities.

Glossary Open

Spanish Civil War

A war in Spain that began following an uprising in Morocco in 1936. It was fought between the Republicans and the Nationalists, led by General Franco, who declared victory in 1939, and remained as head of state until his death in 1975. The bombing of the town of Guernica on 26 April 1937 was the subject of a major painting by Pablo Picasso.

Spanish Civil War


  • Acc. No. GMA 994
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 77.20 x 56.50 cm
  • Credit Purchased (Knapping Fund) 1967