Portrait of Augustus John
© By permission of the Artist's copyright holder

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Portrait of Augustus John 1944
This is one of four portraits Smith made of John in October 1944, shortly after taking a break from painting due to depression. It was allegedly painted in less than an hour. Alluding to Smith's habit of painting flesh as if it had been flayed and soaked in blood, John jokingly referred to the painting as 'Another haemorrhage for Matthew; all the same he will be a portrait painter yet'. Augustus John also painted Smith, and when Smith was told that his painting was better, he remarked, 'Ah, but I had by far the more interesting subject!'


  • Acc. No. GMA 2324
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 102.30 x 77.00 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1981