Sir Michael Eliot Howard

1 portrait

Sir Michael Eliot Howard, by Andrew Festing, 2005 - NPG 6744 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Michael Eliot Howard

by Andrew Festing
oil on canvas, 2005
42 in. x 34 in. (1066 mm x 865 mm)
Commissioned, 2005
Primary Collection
NPG 6744

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The portrait, painted from life in Festing's studio took five days to complete. Sir Michael has described the occasion as a 'landmark in my life'. For the purposes of the painting Sir Michael brought to the studio three paintings that could be integrated into the portrait. Sir Michael says 'My own first choice was a print of Somerset House, to emphasise my connection with King's College; my second, a portrait of a young Coldstream officer c.1840, to indicate my military connection. Andrew preferred the lemon, a print that I inherited from my mother, on the grounds that the other two were too fussy.' During the sitting Sir Michael wore the cross of the Order of Merit, recently bestowed on him. The two men both share military backgrounds and a common interest in history, which was aptly symbolised by the book Sir Michael is reading. Published just after the First World War it contains the work of Eric Kennington and his figure studies and portraits of infantrymen created during his commission as an official war artist.