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Robert Walker (?1595/1610 - ?1659)

Self-portrait

A1; oil on canvas; 75 x 62 cm

WA1845.1

Poole 1912, no. 424

Walker was the leading portrait painter to the parliamentary side during the Civil War. This self-portrait is the most elaborate of several variants (Royal Collection; National Portrait Gallery; Belvoir Castle), which have been dated to the 1640s. It pays ironic homage to van Dyck's Self-portrait (Westminster Collection), in which the artist points at a sunflower as a symbol of homage to the King. Here, Walker points to a statue of Mercury as patron of the arts.

Information derived from the The Ashmolean Museum Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings.