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Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 10am - 5pm
Wednesday: 10am - 5pm
Thursday: 10am - 5pm
Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm

Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit

[ Exhibition )



A black man standing in profile facing right, wearing a mustard yellow top against a red and yellow background.

Discover the work of Glyn Philpot, the sought-after society portraitist who shook off convention to embrace modernism.

The first major exhibition of British artist Glyn Philpot R.A. (1884-1937) in almost 40 years. Bringing together over 80 paintings, drawings and sculptures, many unseen in public for decades, the exhibition charted the artist’s development from Edwardian society portraits to his shift to a radically modernist style in the 1930s.

The exhibition included his portraits of actors, dancers, poets, society hostesses, male lovers and friends, examining his important contribution to the sensitive representation of Black sitters from the 1910s to 1930s, and his exploration of both queer and religious subjects.

Philpot’s sitters included a Who’s Who of British society, from glamorous duchesses a such as Loelia, Duchess of Westminster, to actors, poets and writers including Siegfried Sassoon. Alongside these portraits, Philpot gained a reputation for his paintings, sculptures and drawings of unknown Black sitters. Central to the exhibition was an exploration of how these relate to wider dialogues about identity and representation in modern art.

★★★★★ “Decades of devotion are writ large in this exhibition, which allows us to rediscover Philpot in all his magpie complexity, and to afford his treatment of homoerotic subjects the honest appreciation they could not have received in his lifetime”.

Hettie Judah, The Guardian

★★★★☆ “Philpot, at his best, presents a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his period. This show sets out to re-establish a reputation that more than deserves to be reclaimed.”

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

★★★★☆ “It’s that fundamental sense of mystery that gives this intriguing exhibition its particular piquant flavour.”

Mark Hudson, Independent

Highlights from the exhibition

Portrait of man staring ahead in robes

Glyn Philpot, Balthazar

1929, Oil on canvas, Private Collection, ©Pallant House Gallery/Luke Unsworth

Portrait side on of black man with hibiscus pink flower in ear wearing a yellow shirt

Glyn Philpot, Profile of a Man with Hibiscus Flower (Félix)

Two male acrobats sitting next to each other on bench with curtain draped to left

Glyn Philpot, Acrobats Waiting to Rehearse

Portrait of white man looking to right in a blue shirt and navy blazer

Glyn Philpot, Siegfried Sassoon

Portrait of woman in purple shoulderless dress with long purple gloves, matching hat and pearls

Glyn Philpot, Mrs Guendolen Cleaver

A black man in red underpants sitting on a block against a greenish background with a blue strip to the left. His head and eyes appear downcast.

Glyn Philpot, Melancholy Man (Henry Thomas)

Glyn Philpot, Mrs. Clement Cross

Explore the exhibition with Dan Vo

Kindly supported by Dreweatts.

Two mobile phones

Discover the hidden histories behind our artworks

Download the free Bloomberg Connects app and get to enjoy in-depth explorations of works in our collection in the Gallery or from the comfort of your own home.

The app explores Glyn Philpot: Flesh and Spirit room by room with an audio tour from our director, Simon Martin, commentary from the Chichester Pride Committee, plus get to see works not on display.

Find out more