|Samuel Woodforde was born at Castle Cary, Somerset and from an early age was patronized by the Hoare family of Stourhead, Wiltshire. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools from 1782 and left for Italy in 1786 to study the Italian Old Masters. On his return in 1792 he began to exhibit frequently at the Royal Academy, showing portraits, modern genre scenes of Italian life, and historical and literary subjects.|
This arresting self-portrait was painted when the artist was thirty-eight. Its dramatic lighting and fine costume reveals Woodforde’s status as a gentleman rather than a professional artist. No tools of the artist’s trade are visible, only the trade-marks of an independent mind and spirit in the slight swagger to the turned head and the cloak swept up romantically
over the shoulder.
Frames associated with this work