by Tony Bevan
acrylic on canvas, 2005
29 3/4 in. x 26 3/8 in. (756 mm x 670 mm)
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This portraitback to top
From the beginning of the commissioning consultation process it was clear that Alfred Brendel was not going to be satisfied with a conventional portrait and indeed he was reticent about sitting at all. However, he was taken with the raw strength and authenticity of Bevan's vision. Although many of Bevan's paintings are based on direct observation, both of himself, his family and friends, this is the first time that the artist has ventured into the realm of the portrait commission. Uncertain about whether he would produce something that pleased both the sitter and himself this was a challenge pushing the boundaries of his normal concerns with painting the head. Pictorial and stylistic precursors for the work can be cited such as the sharp diagonal line of pigment cutting across the bottom of the canvas which is a reference to Goya's A Drowning Dog (1820-23) also present in Bevan's earlier Horizon series. The finished portrait is a result of an intense period of work over a year during which he produced a series of preparatory sketches from life followed by drawings and paintings based on the sketches.
Linked publicationsback to top
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Recent commissions and acquisitions (20 July 2005 - 25 September 2005)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 2005back to top
Current affairsLondon suffers its worst bomb attack since the Second World War when four devises are detonated during rush hour on public transport. Three of the bombs went off on tube trains, and one on a bus killing 56 people and injuring 700. A Leeds-based terror cell of British born or raised Islamic extremists committed the attacks.
John Sentamu becomes the first black Archbishop of the Church of England.