Exhibited: Glasgow Art Club, 1940
Literature: Lesley Duncan James Miller R.S.A.’, pub. Royal Scottish Academy 1990.
Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.322.
Viewed in a mirror, glancing up momentarily to acknowledge the viewer Millar shows himself posed confidently in front of the full length canvas on which he is engaged in painting his self portrait. The artist, in his mid forties, is at the height of his powers, his body language confident, his head foiled by one of his own nocturnes which hangs on he wall behind.
In her monograph on the artist (in which this painting provides the cover image), Leslie Duncan notes that the self-portrait shows Miller in young middle age with flamboyant high brimmed hat and long white coat, its folds skilfully rendered. Behind the round spectacles his eyes look intently at his easel rather than the viewer. A light source illuminates the right hand side of his face and neck, highlighting the solemn, rather monkeyish features. He was not concerned with self-flattery. The wide-spread feet, however, and the figure’s whole mien speak of confidence in his own presence and talents’.