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In his 1965 self portrait, McCall has cast himself as the respectable artist in his studio, standing by the easel, brushes in hand. He looks self-assured, nobly erect, his features gentle and impassive. David Coombs wrote ‘McCall was a shy man, quiet and reticent, characteristics not hidden even in later years’.
McCall ‘wanted to be an artist very early in life ... my father would have none of it’. He won a Scholarship to Edinburgh College of Art – his time there interrupted by wartime service.
The theme McCall made his own is people absorbed in thought or daily tasks. His subjects included a woman at her sewing machine and The Jade Collector examining some precious object at a desk in the corner of a commodious drawing room.
oil on board
H 26 x W 31 cm
acquired by Ruth Borchard as part of the original collection