1 portrait on display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
© estate of Craigie Aitchison / Bridgeman Art Library www.bridgemanart.com
by Craigie Aitchison
oil on canvas, circa late 1950s-early 1960s
24 in. x 20 in. (610 mm x 508 mm)
Purchased with help from Terence and Angela Danziger Miles and Sir Paul Smith, 2012
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Sitterback to top
- Craigie Aitchison (1926-2009), Artist. Sitter in 5 portraits, Artist of 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- Craigie Aitchison (1926-2009), Artist. Artist of 1 portrait, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Craigie Aitchison usually painted visionary and religious subjects, as well as rendering motifs such as trees, birds and dogs in radiant colours. At the height of his career, shortly after having been elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Aitchison slashed through the face on this self-portrait when a studio visitor remarked that the portrait was flattering. Aitchison subsequently had it restored, but ensured that the marks left by the lacerations remained. Obviously sensitive to the scrutiny of others, perhaps he felt that his actions had improved the portrait by presenting a more fallible human being.
Events of 1957back to top
Current affairsHarold Macmillan takes over as Conservative prime minister, manoeuvring Eden out of power after his poor handling of the Suez Crisis the previous year.
The Wolfenden Report recommends that homosexuality should no longer be a criminal offence. It still took ten years, however, before any changes were made to the law on homosexuality with the Sexual Offences Act in 1967.