As portraits go, this is one of the weirdest we've seen. Secretive Nazi officer or Batman type baddie? Those were our first two impressions but after closer inspection we now think its something else entirely.
Signed Andrew Muir and dated 1957 there's no information about the artist online or in reference books.
For such a well painted portrait of this size it seems unusual to have no trace of the artist. With help from Georgina Norman at Laidlaw Auctioneers, we think this portrait was originally of someone such as an office manager or company head and it was designed to proudly hang at his place of business.
However, it does have a strange feel to it. More illustrative than a portrait, similar to the types of work produced by illustrators working during the 1940s and 1950s, for books and other such similar. Certain parts of the portrait look a little more slap dash than others though, certainly the quality of the mask and armband do not have the same quality of the jacket and the hair.
This leads us to believe that someone has later adapted the portrait, possibly as a statement piece of art, a vendetta against the seated man or maybe they knew something about this man's past that we don't. The mystery surrounding this piece definitely adds to its appeal. What we do know is that the portrait came from across the border in Scotland.
With its large size and peculiar features, this striking painting is sure to be a conversational piece in any setting. Measuring approximately, 92.5cm wide, 125cm tall and 2cm deep, there are knocks, scuffs, discolouring to both the board and frame. On the reverse of the board, there is also 'Sleep Well' ever so slightly scrawled in pen.
92.5cm wide, 125cm tall and 2cm deep