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The Actor

© David Hockney. Photo credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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'The Actor' is one of five paintings which Hockney executed during a period of six weeks teaching at the University of Iowa shortly after his move to the USA. It incorporates a range of motifs which have proved central to his oeuvre, including the stage-like setting with curtains, the vase of flowers, the palm tree on the cushion, the patterned sofa and the calligraphic flourishes in the sky. The figure, doubtless observed during the artist's visit to Egypt in September 1963, is based upon a statue of the heretical pharoah Akhenaton (1370–52 BC).

National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff

  • Date


  • Medium

    acrylic on canvas

  • Measurements

    166.5 x 167.3 cm

  • Accession number

    NMW A 13523

  • Acquisition method

    purchased with the assistance of the Derek Williams Trust, the Art Fund and the Honourable James Butler Charitable Trust, 1999


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National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff (Caerdydd) CF10 3NP Wales

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