ARTZILA

As you know, I like to examine self-portraits for insight into the artist’s character. Self-portraits are well thought out by the painter and are not just spur of the moment selfies. This one is a bit shadowy and tells me Frederick was a shy man and a bit uncertain of his talent. The tight collar and cinched tie suggest a stern father who probably knocked young Fred around a bit. The vague background and muted palette tell us Varley walked with a limp and smoked No. 7 cigarettes. I also think he may have been in love with his mother.

 

August 11, 2015

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