Harold Wilson

1 portrait on display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery

Harold Wilson, by Ruskin Spear, exhibited 1974 - NPG 5047 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Harold Wilson

by Ruskin Spear
oil on canvas, exhibited 1974
20 1/8 in. x 15 in. (511 mm x 381 mm)
Purchased, 1975
Primary Collection
NPG 5047


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Ruskin Spear (1911-1990), Painter. Artist of 12 portraits, Sitter in 10 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

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top