Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Georgette Chen

Year: 1946.

Medium: Oil on canvas.

Size: 23 x 18 m.

Scholars Programme

"Self Portrait , painted in 1946, testifies well to the principles Georgette Chen held dear in her art. With a remarkable sense of detachment, she portrays herself with a disciplined approach to method while engaging the viewer with the personality behind the face. The painting is a close-up, full-sized and hauntlngly-real likeness of herself. Faithful to her ideas of portraiture, Chen composed Self-Portrait employing strict economy of means -- minimum lines to delineate the contours of the face and hair, meagre use of colours to differentiate shades of facial complexion from the simple background and clear articulation of features such as the curly fringe above her ear and the starched Chinese collar of her dress. The serene and sensitive disposition of the artist is expressed in the choice of harmonious colours -- subtle nuances of pink, beige and brown, and to add interest, a dash of vermilion on the lips. The sharp, piercing eyes reflect a steady determination and a keen sense of purpose."

-- Channels & Confluences, ch. 14


Kwok Kian Chow. Channels & Confluences: A History of Singapore Art. Singapore: National Heritage Board/Singapore Art Museum, 1996. Plate 42.

This document is part of a joint project of the Singapore Art Museum and the Honours Core Curriculum, National University of Singapore. This image and accompanying text appears here with the kind permission of the Singapore Art Museum.

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Last updated: May 2000