|Moynihan painted this self-portrait when he was seventy-six years old. The still, muted colouring and inclusion of a set square perhaps indicate his interest at that time in painting still-lives in the manner of Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779). From the mid-1970s Moynihan painted many selfportraits, which typically depict himself at work in his studio.|
Moynihan was born in the Canary Islands, but moved to England in 1918 and attended the Slade School of Art from 1928, where he studied under Henry Tonks. By the late 1930s he turned away from abstraction to more representational subject matter in his painting. Moynihan worked as an official war artist from 1943 to 1944 and served as Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art from 1948 to 1957.
This work is currently on display in the General Assembly Room at the Royal Academy of Arts and can be viewed by attending one of the free tours of the John Madejski Fine Rooms. Click here for further information about the tours