1904 - 1990
Self Portrait

Charcoal on paper
Image size: 4 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches (11.5 x 10.75 cm)
Mounted with a contemporary style frame
£650

 

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This is a somewhat haunting self-portrait by William Dring, crafted in charcoal. Here, Dring presents himself through dark shadow and bright highlights, looking out directly at the viewer with a serious gaze.

Although the Dring has been economical in the use of his marks we are still given plenty of information and can identify the energy in which the strokes of charcoal must have been placed onto the surface.

William Dring

Dring was born with the forenames Dennis William, but was known colloquially as John. He was the brother of the artist James Dring. He married the painter Grace Elizabeth Rothwell, and their daughter Melissa was also an artist.

Dring studied under Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1922-25, and emerged as a fine draughtsman, a sympathetic portrait painter (fond of using his family as subjects), and a deft watercolourist.

He won several prizes and scholarships at the Slade. He then taught until 1940 at Southampton School of Art and became an official war artist. The Imperial War Museum owns 64 of his portraits in pastel (mainly of naval personnel who received battle awards) and five of his elaborately constructed oil paintings.

He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1944 when he showed a strong portrait of his daughter Melissa, and after the war he became a noted exhibitor at the Royal Academy, being elected RA in 1955.