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An engaging portrait of a young girl in a stripey red sweater. Signed and dated 'Gilbery 48' (1948) in the bottom left corner.


Michael Gilbery (originally Goldberg) was born in London in 1913. In 1930, at the age of 17, he had his first painting accepted by the Royal Academy. After leaving school he gained a scholarship to St. Martin's School of Art, and later the Royal College of Art (RCA), where he studied under the likes of Roland Pitchforth, Sir William Rothenstein, and Gilbert Spencer. In 1934 he won the RCA's much-coveted 'Painting Prize'. After leaving college he made a living from portrait commissions, and teaching art, but he also continued to exhibit at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the New English Art Club.


In 1951 his work featured in a major 'Festival of Britain' exhibition of Anglo-Jewish artists alongside such luminaries as David Bomberg, Jacob Epstein, Hans Feibusch, Mark Gertler and William Rothenstein. Like many Jewish people with German-sounding names living in London during the Second World War, he changed his surname from 'Goldberg' to 'Gilbery' in 1939.


Michael lived in, or around, West Hampstead for most of his life, and from 1945 he maintained work studios within his homes. The studio location in 1948, when this particular painting was done, was Sherriff Road, N. W. London.


Given the age, and the slightly rebellious 'attitude' of the sitter in this painting, it is most likely the subject was a student of Gilbery's at either St Martin's or the Royal College. Many of his students modelled for his paintings, and these tend to form some of his best work, having less constraints put upon him than his portrait commissions.


This painting stayed in his private possession from when it was completed in 1948 until his death in 2000. It only became available from his estate in 2020 - after 72 years!


It is in very good clean condition, with only one small hole in the canvas, which has been repaired from the back.


Size noted is the dimensions including the frame. The actual canvas size is 75 x 62cm (h x w).


[Provenence: The Michael Gilbery estate]


NOW SOLD - Michael Gilbery - Portrait of an art student

SKU: KS7022
  • Date/period


  • Dimensions (h x w x d)

    97 x 86 x 9 cm (framed)

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