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Double Portrait

1944 Alfonso Ossorio Born: Manila, Philippines 1916 Died: New York, New York 1990 watercolor and black ink on paper sheet and image: 14 x 20 in. (35.5 x 50.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1993.70 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

This elegant, hallucinatory drawing combines grotesque anatomical fragments, realistic portraiture, and surrealistic fantasy. Ossorio’s state of mind can only be described as tormented, induced by his World War II experiences, a recent divorce, and his uneasy acknowledgement of homosexuality. Double Portrait is based on his memories of Camp Ellis, Illinois, where he suffered a life-threatening accident and documented injured soldiers and prisoners of war as a medical illustrator.

Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009


Portrait group

Portrait male - Collamore, Bacon

Portrait male - Darbey, James



paint - watercolor