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SELF-PORTRAIT IN A KIMONO, 40 x 40 in., oil on canvas,
I was attending classes at the Accademia di belle arti di Brera in Milan at the time I undertook this self-portrait in my home studio. I had done several portrait commissions before, including one for a member of the Royal Family of Oman which I had just completed, but never a self-portrait. This presents unique challenges of its own! I studied photos of myself which my family or friends had taken, I worked in front of a mirror, and finally, I asked my then-teenage daughter Ajda (about my size and height) to don the kimono and adopt the same pose as I had taken and under the same lighting. I found this especially helpful when working on the outstretched hand and the intricate detail and folds of the kimono. The kimono itself was hand-stitched and was received as a gift from the Japanese wife of a Turkish doctor.