The Painter Man

William J. Forsyth (American, 1854-1935)

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In this self-portrait William Forsyth wears a blue painter’s smock over his coat and tie, as he would have dressed while painting in his free time in his studio. He depicted himself holding his palette in his right hand, although we know that he painted right-handed—an inversion resulting from using a mirror to capture his own likeness. Already in his late 60s in this self-portrait, he was still teaching at the time, having spent a long career of over 40 years as an instructor of painting and drawing in Indiana.

Object Information

William J. Forsyth (American, 1854-1935)
creation date
oil on canvas
23-3/4 x 20 in. (canvas)
31-1/2 x 27-1/2 x 3 in. (framed)
mark descriptions
Signed and dated, l.c.r.: W FORSYTH / '23
accession number
credit line
Gift of Mrs. James W. Fesler to the Art School of Indianapolis
Public Domain
American Painting and Sculpture to 1945

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