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Catalog Data

Artist:
Abbott Handerson Thayer, 12 Aug 1849 - 29 May 1921  Search this
Sitter:
Abbott Handerson Thayer, 12 Aug 1849 - 29 May 1921  Search this
Medium:
Oil on plywood panel
Dimensions:
Sight: 73.7 x 55.9cm (29 x 22")
Frame: 92.7 x 74.6 x 2.9cm (36 1/2 x 29 3/8 x 1 1/8")
Type:
Painting
Date:
1920
Exhibition Label:
Completed a year before his death, Abbott Handerson Thayer’s darkly dramatic self-portrait is one of several that he created at the end of his life. According to scholar Kevin Murphy, Thayer’s need to protect—from guarding his own children to caring for the environment in his home state of New Hampshire—was a guiding force for the artist. Thayer is best known for his landscapes and paint- ings of ideal women and winged angels, but he spent many years studying natural science and theo- ries of evolution. He developed ideas about camou- flage and visual protection in the natural world and co-authored a book with his son Gerald entitled Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909). These ideas informed his approach to painting as well, for as in this portrait, he often used the paint- erly surface of his work, with its dark coloration and sense of insubstantiality, to hide elements of the figure.
Este autorretrato sombrío y dramático de Abbott Handerson Thayer, terminado un año antes de su muerte, es uno de varios que realizó al final de su vida. Según el académico Kevin Murphy, la nece- sidad de proteger —lo mismo cuidar a sus hijos que conservar el medio ambiente en su estado de New Hampshire— fue un principio que guió al artista. Thayer es conocido por sus paisajes y sus pinturas de mujeres ideales y ángeles, pero pasó muchos años estudiando ciencias naturales y las teorías de la evolución. Desarrolló ideas sobre camuflaje y protec- ción visual en el mundo natural y escribió junto con su hijo Gerald un libro titulado Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom (1909). Estas ideas influyeron también su enfoque en la pintura, pues a menudo utilizaba superficies pictóricas de tonos oscuros y apariencia insustancial para esconder elementos de la figura, como en este retrato.
Provenance:
Elsie Reeves, College Park, Md., granddaughter of artist; purchased 1981 NPG
Topic:
Self-portrait  Search this
Abbott Handerson Thayer: Male  Search this
Abbott Handerson Thayer: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.81.22
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Location:
Currently not on view
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm48e27909c-8f45-4127-82d5-3322738ae24d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.81.22