About this artwork

Gertler painted his family many times, particularly in the period from around 1909-11. He returned to the human form in the 1920s and concentrated on painting women. Following numerous portraits influenced by the rich, warm colouring of Renoir he revisited his mother as a model to achieve “something more brutal”. This is the final portrait Gertler painted of his mother and rather than displaying the sentiment and personality visible in his earlier portraits of her, it is tightly composed study of the female figure as a dominating form. It was praised unanimously at the time. Gertler was also particularly fond of it, pricing it at £200 to try to prevent it selling. However, it was purchased for the full amount, the highest price any of his works fetched during his lifetime.

Mark Gertler

Mark Gertler