Equestrian self portrait 1987

William Robinson
Equestrian self portrait 1987
Oil on canvas
141 x 192cm
Private Collection

Full screen

William Robinson won the 1987 Archibald Prize with this comic self portrait, attracting considerable media attention. The Sydney Morning Herald (28 December 1996) generously credited the painting with ending ‘ . . . almost 50 years of obscurity’ for Robinson. The painting is based on the tradition of equestrian portraits of European kings and conquerors. In contrast to these models, however, Robinson rides his horse without reins or even bridle; he pursues a personal vision rather than the grasp of imperial power.

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