Gowing, Sir Lawrence (1918 - 1991)

British painter and writer on art. He had a distinguished academic career, during which he was Deputy Director of the Tate Gallery (1965-67) and a professor at several universities (notably at the Slade School, 1975-85), and he wrote books and catalogues, valued for their critical insights, on numerous artists, among them CÚzanne, Matisse, and Vermeer. As a painter he began as a pupil of Coldstream working in the Euston Road tradition, and much of his subsequent work was in this sombre vein. His work also included abstracts, however, and in 1976 he began producing large pictures in which he traced the outline of his own naked body stretched on the canvas, the paint being applied by an assistant. He was knighted in 1982.


Oxford Dictionary of Art, © Oxford University Press 1997