Bomberg’s late portraits were painted using thick brushmarks, applied swiftly and freely to the canvas, in order to express the artist’s feelings about the sitter. His painting style was considered to be inappropriate for conventional portraiture, and he received few commissions, as most people preferred the more naturalistic, smooth finish practised by artists such as Stanley Spencer. Bomberg was restricted to painting self-portraits or portraits of close relatives, such as his brother-in-law, Jimmy Newmark.

Bomberg’s mature work in this style was unpopular, and he had little commercial success during his lifetime. At the time of his death, his work was neglected by the critics, but in recent years his importance as a figurative painter has been recognised. Bomberg’s innovative approach to the human figure was hugely influential for the next generation of British painters, particularly Frank Auerbach, who attended his drawing classes in the late 1940s.


  • Title: Portrait of Jimmy Newmark
  • Creator: David Bomberg
  • Date: 1943
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 61 x 50.8
  • Copyright: © Estate of David Bomberg. All rights reserved, DACS.
  • Artist's Dates: 1890-1957

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