Self Portrait1937 by Austin Osman Spare

... "A dreamer of dreams and a seer of visions, he (Spare) had that complete other-worldliness so often depicted in romantic fiction and so rarely found in real life. Money meant nothing to him. With his talents as a figure draughtsman he might easily have commanded a four-figure income in portraiture, but he elected to live quietly and humbly, rarely going out...

He worked from a small flat in Brixton during the Second World War. In 1941 Spare was seriously injured during a bombing raid. According to one source: "For three years he struggled to regain the use of his arms until finally, in 1946, in a cramped basement in Brixton, he began to make pictures again, surrounded by stray cats. At the time he had no bed and worked in an old army shirt and tattered jacket. Yet he still charged only an average of £5 per picture."
Austin Osman Spare died in South Western Hospital, Landor Road, Stockwell, on 15th May, 1956, following appendicitis.
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