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The Artist's Mother at 18 and 88

© Tom Phillips. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

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In this double portrait Phillips represented his mother twice, once as a young woman based on a blurred photograph taken in 1919 and secondly from life at the age of 88. Instead of presenting the old photograph as a framed memory on the wall, he used it as a symbol of the still youthful soul of his mother, while her actual appearance in the background is older and much changed.

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology



acrylic on canvas


H 71.4 x W 91.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased with the assistance of Lloyds TSB, Sir Nicholas Goodison, the Friends of the Ashmolean, and (Blakiston Fund), 2000 On loan.

Work type



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The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2PH England

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