Daphne Todd 1947

Portrait artist
English; British
born in:
Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

Daphne Todd (b.1947) Me in a magnifying mirror, 2001 Oil on skin plywood, 410 x 410mm (1618 x 1618") Collection of the artist Daphne Todd was born in Yorkshire and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art under Sir William Coldstream (1908-87) from 1964 to 1971. Whilst there she was awarded the British Institute Award for Figurative Painting, the Tonks Drawing Prize and the intercollegiate David Murray Award for landscape painting. She exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1969 onwards and taught at the Byam Shaw and the Heatherley Schools of Art. In 1984 she was elected a member of the New English Art Club and in 1985 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. She has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, including winning first prize in the Hunting/Observer Award in 1984, second prize in 1983 for the John Player Portrait Award, and exhibiting solo in 1989 at the Morley Gallery, London. In 1994 Daphne Todd was elected the first woman president of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, an office she held for six years. (The Society was founded in 1891 and past presidents include Sir William Orpen, Sir John Lavery and Augustus John.) Todd has often been preoccupied with the framing of the subject within the space of the picture plane, as in her portrait of the tall figure of Christopher Ondaatje in the National Portrait Gallery's collection, caught (almost jammed) within the doorway of his library. In her self-portrait the round magnifying mirror acts as a centralising device separating the various aspects of her life: outside the sunset of a Sussex landscape and the watery pools of her farm, and inside the abstract colours of the interior space. The splitting of this painting into four parts suggests the juggling of the different parts of life - the 'real' (outdoor, outer, physical) versus the 'abstract' (inside, internal, cerebral). It is a bold and knowing work, specific, powerful, complex yet modest in scale. It is typical in palette, with the familiar and strange mixtures of oranges with pinks and indigo/violets that have become her trademark. Todd has work in many public collections including the Science Museum, the Royal Academy (Chantrey Bequest), the Royal Holloway Museum and Art Gallery, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities.