5 of 55 portraits of Paul McCartney
by Humphrey Ocean (Humphrey Anthony Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon)
oil on canvas, 1983
33 5/8 in. x 19 1/2 in. (854 mm x 495 mm)
Commissioned as part of the First Prize, Imperial Tobacco Portrait Award, 1982, 1983
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Sir (James) Paul McCartney (1942-), Musician and member of The Beatles and Wings. Sitter in 55 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Humphrey Ocean (Humphrey Anthony Erdeswick Butler-Bowdon) (1951-), Painter. Artist of 12 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
In the 1970s Ocean had been co-opted by his art tutor Ian Dury as a bass player with the band Kilburn and the High Roads. Already in the rock music world, he then travelled as artist in residence on a Wings tour of America in 1976, and so knew his sitter well when he came to paint him for the National Portrait Gallery.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 127
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 398
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 188
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1983back to top
Current affairsMargaret Thatcher wins a landslide majority for the Conservative Party at the general election. Although her premiership had previously been unpopular, the British victory in the Falklands coupled with divisions in Michael Foot's Labour opposition, helped her to gain popularity and win the most decisive election victory since 1945.
Art and scienceThe British sitcom Blackadder is aired for the first time. Each of the four series followed the character of the anti-hero Edmund Blackadder and took place during a different period of British history. The first series, The Black Adder, was a satire of medieval England during the rein of the fictitious Richard IV, and frequently lifted famous lines from Shakespeare.
InternationalThe armed struggle between Tamil militants and the Sinhalese-dominated government of Sri Lanka begin with the Black July pogrom. Mobs (allegedly supported by the government) started attacking and murdering Tamils following an attack by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on government soldiers. Civil war between the government and Tamil nationalists has continued sporadically ever since.
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