The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Portrait of an Artist
Portrait of an Artist

Portrait of an Artist 1976


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Portrait of an Artist 1976

2 mins United Kingdom

Robert Lenkiewicz explores the thoughts of a painter and the motivation behind self-portraiture as he indulges in a long sitting with his muse Mary. He ironically discusses high-art suppositions and commercial illusions which, in his opinion, serve to shroud the portrait painter in romantic myths .Mary was his Project which studied the development of an obsessional relationship, an experiment of which she was unaware.

He kept diaries with innumerable sketches of Mary as he became more and more obsessed both by her and the process of self-examination of one man’s physiology ‘in a state of crisis’. Lenkiewicz was born the son of German Polish refugees in London in 1941 and they ran a Jewish guesthouse called Hotel Shem-tov. Lenkiewicz was brought up in London and attended the Saint Martin’s School of Art before moving to Plymouth in 1965. Lenkiewicz died in 2002 leaving enormous debts because he never dealt with money directly; he preferred to barter.

The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.




1970s Painters (fine art) Artists


The Arts on Film




United Kingdom


Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

The map


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later