Douglas J. McLeod

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1906, d.1983

Self Portrait

  • Presented by Miss D. McLeod and Mrs V.J. Roberts, 1984
  • Oil on canvas on board
  • 330 x 430mm
  • 84/43
  • c. 1948

In this pair of uncompromisingly honest portraits the subjects’ expressions speak of unsentimental observation and patient self-scrutiny. We are given an unexpectedly intimate glimpse into the lives of Oamaru-born, Christchurch-based artist Douglas Jackson McLeod and his wife Fanny, as well as a moving depiction of a couple whose time together was sadly short.McLeod was a well-regarded commercial artist in the local advertising industry through the 1920s and 1930s, and also exhibited regularly with the Canterbury Society of Arts. He was married to Louisa Fanny Werren in 1945, the year before painting this portrait. Fanny, a shorthand-typist, died in Christchurch in 1948, after which time McLeod gave up painting altogether

(Persistent encounters, March 2020, exhibited alongside the artist's self portrait)

earlier labels about this work
  • Douglas McLeod was an intensely private man whose work reflected his immediate environment and the people he knew. This moving pair of portraits shows McLeod’s wife, painted shortly before she died, and a self-portrait that is one of the last works McLeod painted before he gave up painting altogether.

    McLeod was born in Oamaru and educated at Richmond School, Christchurch, and the Canterbury College School of Art. He worked in the advertising industry during the 1920s and 1930s, illustrating and designing billboards and posters, and was regarded as one of New Zealand’s most accomplished advertising artists at this time. McLeod also exhibited regularly at the Canterbury Society of Art. A posthumous exhibition of his work was held at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery in 1984.