13 Artists’ Portraits of Sylvia Plath (Including Her Own)

Self-Portrait by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath’s meteoric posthumous rise as a pre-eminent American poet has eclipsed the fact that she was a talented artist as well. When she initially enrolled at Smith College, her first choice of major was studio art. After discovering her talent for writing, her professors encouraged her to major in English instead.

It took a long time for her visual art to come to light. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery mounted a retrospective of her work in 2017, fifty-four years after her death. A few of the works were self-portraits, including the one at right, and the first one, below. She also enjoyed making collages that were playful and satiric.


Self-Portrait by Sylvia Plath

Self-Portrait in Semi-Abstract Style by Sylvia Plath, ink and gouache on paper c. 1946 – 1952
Estate of Robert Hittel © Estate of Sylvia Plath


Sylvia Plath’s brief, complicated, and brilliant life has earned her a prominent place in American letters. Numerous artists have paid tribute to her by interpreting her likeness in visual form. Here are just a few artists’ portraits of Sylvia Plath from around the web.


Sylvia Plath by Cindy Song
See more of Cindy Song’s portraits of women authors on the same page



Sylvia Plath by Melinda Hagman
See more of Melinda’s literary portraits on her site



Sylvia Plath by Mark McFadden
See more of Mark McFadden’s portraits


Sylvia Plath by Saheli Khastagir
See more of this artist’s portraits


Sylvia Plath by Richard L Dixon
See more art by Richard L Dixon


Sylvia Plath by Kim Cypert
See more of Kim Cypert’s portraits


Sylvia Plath by Kat Himmel
See more of Kat Himmel’s portraits on the same page


Sylvia Plath by Sophie Herxheimer 
See more about Sophie Herxheimer’s books and art


Sylvia Plath by Katy Horan
See more about Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Illustrated by Katy Horan


Sylvia Plath by Allison Adams
See more portraits by Allison Adams


Sylvia Plath by IsMiseKate


Sylvia Plath by Nina Wadhouse


Eye Rhymes - Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual

Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the Visual by Kathleen Connors on Amazon


More about Sylvia Plath on this site


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