Source and activity 1
Alasdair Gray self-portrait (circa 1985)
[NLS reference: Acc.10191/34]
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This self-portrait of Alasdair Gray was used in 'Lean Tales', a book of short stories by Gray, James Kelman, and Agnes Owens (London: Jonathan Cape, 1985).
It included portraits of each author drawn by Gray and used as title pages within the book. This original drawing includes an overlay with instructions to the printers.
Use this source as the basis for considering self-portraiture. When looking at Gray's self-portrait, think about the perspective which is almost as though the viewer is drawing the image.
The self-portrait is also shown as a piece of paper on a desk which distances the viewer from the sitter, but at the same time contrasts with the direct eye-line of the portrait.
Why might Gray have chosen to do this?
What is the importance of including the pen and paper, and what might this signify about Alasdair Gray and his own self-image?
Find out more about Alasdair Gray in NLS collections
The Alasdair Gray Archive is listed under ‘G’ in our Guide to Manuscripts Collections.
Search our catalogue for books by or about Alasdair Gray.