Ethel V. Ashton
Self-Portrait, 1940s,
Oil on canvas, 33 1/3” x 19 ½ ”

Promised gift of Dorothy J. del Bueno

In this self-portrait Ashton has depicted herself as a modern woman, active and thoughtful as she works in her studio. Here the making of art is a serious undertaking—no frivolous pastime or hobby. With canvas and easel in front of her, Ashton looks to her left, contemplating the form of a still life or model, or possibly her own reflection in a mirror. Her left hand on her hip announces her confidence. Her gaze is intent and her right hand is flexed, as if she is reasoning through the complicated intellectual process of translating her subject onto her canvas.

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