Listen to the audio track now:
  Download as mp3 (0.72 MB)

Self-portrait  1929
oil on canvas, 470 x 380 mm
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, on loan from the Rita Angus Estate

In this early self-portrait, Rita Angus presents herself as a poised and confident young woman. Casually dressed in a work shirt and a beret, she might have come straight from a class at art school.

Angus was enjoying a new sense of independence when she painted the picture. She had just left her strict university hostel and was now living with friends.

‘Making use of my newly acquired freedom,’ she wrote, ‘I painted six landscapes and one self portrait. The following March … the self portrait was hung at the annual art exhibition, creating a mild sensation.’

> Back to Early work 1929-36

All artworks are reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus.