Mark Gertler (1891 – 1939).

Still-Life with Self-Portrait, 1918 (Leeds Art Gallery).

The self-portrait in a mirror was possibly influenced by William Orpen’s ‘Mirror’ 1900 (Tate Gallery).

and Jan van Eyck’s ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ 1434. (National Gallery, London).

Gertler attended the Slade Art school and William Orpen was a past pupil and he was acquainted with a fellow Jewish artist – William Rothenstein who was a close friend of William Orpen.

Gertler had a very interesting life – poverty-stricken, suffered with mental health issues, tuberculosis and a failed marriage. He had been in love with the painter Dora Carrington (1893 – 1932) whom he met at the Slade Art School, she committed suicide by shooting herself and Gertler gassed himself to death. He had attempted suicide previously by jumping under a train.

The 1995 film ‘Carrington’ starring Emma Thompson is based on Dora Carrington’s life.

According to Virginia Woolf, Gertler suffered from overweening egomania; he believed his “painting between the spaces” marked him out as distinctive from other artists.


Another self-portrait in a convex mirror, this one by Harold Gresley, (Derby Museums Trust).


One of the bronze sections in the William Orpen sculpture is taken from his 1924 Self-portrait in Mirrors, (Fitzwilliam Museum).

The sculpture was unveiled on 15th Sept 2018 by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones at the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan.

Post by Dominic Lee, Orpen Research Archives, who also posts on: –