Stan Smith's last works

During a long stay in hospital in the months before he died, Stan Smith drew a remarkable series of more than 100 self portraits.

Suffering from brain damage, he had fallen and fractured a vertebra in his neck. Barely able to move his head and arms when he arrived in hospital, and painfully aware of his mortality, he began to draw. These unsparing, fearsomely honest self portraits were the result.

Compiled in half a dozen spiral bound A4 sketchpads, they have been kept by his widow Kate since Stan’s death in 2001. Stan Smith has always been admired above all for his draughtsmanship. These drawings, created when he had been rendered a physical and mental wreck, may be rated among the best he ever did.

Many thanks to photographer Hugh Gilbert for his painstaking efforts in recording Stan’s last work.

The piano accompaniment is Gymnopedies by Erik Satie performed by Aldo Ciccolini