by Ruskin Spear
oil on canvas, exhibited 1974
20 1/8 in. x 15 in. (511 mm x 381 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- (James) Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx (1916-1995), Prime Minister. Sitter in 42 portraits.
This portraitback to top
An MP at twenty-nine, and at forty-eight Britain's youngest Prime Minister since Pitt, Harold Wilson led a series of cabinets through the 1960s and 70s which confirmed Britain's commitment to a welfare state. A gifted speaker and a skilful politician, he is portrayed in Spear's portrait with the air air of hard-won informality that distinguished his public style. The sittings for this portrait took place in Downing Street. Wilson is shown here with his trademark pipe. Spear described Wilson as 'a great actor, using as pipe as an extension of himself'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Gibson, Robin; Clerk, Honor, 20th Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1993, p. 29
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 212
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 212
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 667
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
See this portrait
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery