Invisible Portait

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In 1897, using specially formulated inks on a specially treated canvas, Herbert Griffin painted this famous self portrait. The portrait, painted in typical Victorian portrait style, shows the artist dressed in fine clothing, with an ermine edged, deep-blue smoking jacket. The subject is seated in an over-stuffed chair, and on his lap is a cat. In the background are several tall shelves, filled with books and a fireplace, with a cozy fire.

Historians say that the picture is aspirational in nature, as Griffin was not a wealthy man, but that he was consumed with achieving power. In life, he as known as a recluse, and neighbors found him unfriendly. This portrait shows Griffin as he wished to be seen.

Purchase a postcard of this exhibit here.