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Thomas Patch (c. 1725-82)

A self-portrait as an ox c. 1768-70

Etching | 28.2 x 34.1 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 811275

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The landscape painter Thomas Patch developed an interest in physiognomy, the supposed science of determining character through the form of one's face and body. This remarkable self-portrait is an exercise in false modesty: it alludes to the ancient idea that 'every painter paints himself', and Patch thus shows himself as bovine by nature. But the inscriptions in Latin and garbled Italian below are a quotation from the Gospel of Saint Luke, 'he that humbleth himself shall be exalted'.
  • Creator(s)

    Thomas Patch (c. 1725-82) (etcher)

    After Thomas Patch (c. 1725-82) (designer)

  • 28.2 x 34.1 cm (sheet of paper)

  • (Greek characters) Qui se humiliat exaltabitur. Chi si umilia salta salta.

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