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Peggy Bacon

Title
Me
Artist
Peggy Bacon, 2 May 1895 - 4 Jan 1987
Sitter
Peggy Bacon, 2 May 1895 - 4 Jan 1987
Date
1932
Type
Drawing
Medium
Pastel on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 41 × 34.5 cm (16 1/8 × 13 9/16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© Peggy Bacon
Object number
NPG.2014.3
Exhibition Label
Peggy Bacon began her career as a painter but found early success with her satirical prints and drawings of friends and associates. Her work for magazines such as the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Fortune expanded from illustration to satirical caricature after the publication of her 1934 book, Off with Their Heads. In this book of caricatures, she describes herself as follows: “Pin headed, parsimoniously covered with thin dark hair, on a short, dumpy body. Small features, prominent nose, chipmunk teeth and no chin, conveying the sharp weak look of a little rodent.”
This pastel self-portrait demonstrates Bacon’s unforgiving eye—particularly through the cartoonish line of her head in profile. It also shows how biting Bacon’s caricature could be, applying to not only other prominent art figures of the 1930s, but also herself.
Peggy Bacon empezó su carrera como pintora, pero pronto logró éxito con sus grabados y dibujos satíricos de amigos y asociados. Su trabajo para revistas como The New Yorker, Vanity Fair y Fortune se extendió de la ilustración a la caricatura satírica luego de publicarse en 1934 su libro Off With Their Heads (Que les corten la cabeza). En este libro de caricaturas, se describe a sí misma así: “Cabeza de chorlito, cubierta frugalmente de cabello oscuro fino, sobre un cuerpo bajito y regordete. Facciones menudas, nariz prominente, dientes de ardilla y nada de mentón, con el aspecto picudo y débil de un pequeño roedor”.
Este autorretrato al pastel demuestra la mirada implacable de Bacon, especialmente en el trazo de su perfil, al estilo de un dibujo animado. También muestra lo incisivas que podían ser las caricaturas de Bacon, lo mismo aplicadas a otras figuras artísticas prominentes de los años treinta que a sí misma.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection