Charles Robert Saumarez Smith

1 portrait

Charles Robert Saumarez Smith, by Tom Phillips, 2003 - NPG 6648 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Charles Robert Saumarez Smith

by Tom Phillips
oil on panel, polyptych, 2003
25 3/8 in. x 8 7/8 in. (644 mm x 226 mm)
Commissioned, 2003
Primary Collection
NPG 6648


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  • Tom Phillips (1937-), Artist. Artist of 22 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.

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This portrait continues the National Portrait Gallery's tradition of commissioning portraits of departing Directors. Weekly sittings have taken place at the artist's studio over the past year, the artist's preferred working method in order to study his sitter over the passage of the changing seasons. The process has been recorded on film by Bruno Wollheim for Channel Four. Tom Phillips is a renowned artist, translator and collector whose works in the Gallery collection include portraits of Iris Murdoch and Susan Greenfield. In his choice of a three-quarter profile Phillips sites Bellini as an influence. Commenting on the experience of sitting for the portrait Charles Saumarez Smith has said: After a year of probing and exploration and long hours of looking out of the window and watching the seasons pass, I was suddenly a free man. I did not like it. I felt as if something had been taken away from me, not my appearance, but my shadow.