Kevin Spacey as Richard III by Jonathan Yeo Limited Edition print

Inkjet print on Hahnemuhle Photo rag Ultra-smooth Paper, 55cm x 55cm, torn edges, no border.

Limited Edition of 50 signed and numbered prints, exclusive to the National Portrait Gallery.

Please note; limited edition prints will be released sequentially on a first come, first served basis.

Price: £1000.00

Members price: £900.00

Sorry, membership discount is not available on this item


The striking new portrait of Kevin Spacey as Richard III is one of several new works by Jonathan Yeo included in a major display of the artist’s work at the National Portrait Gallery.

The large painting shows Spacey in role as Shakespeare’s notorious king, amongst his most acclaimed roles, during his tenure as artistic director of The Old Vic Theatre. Painted during the run of Sam Mendes’s 2011 Old Vic production, the oil-on-canvas work draws on the great tradition of the theatre portrait. Believed to be the actor’s first ever portrait Spacey is shown in full costume having been painted by Yeo both in his studio and on stage. Yeo saw him play the role both with and without an audience, and sketched and took photos of him working backstage. Dominating the canvas, Spacey wears a rakishly tilted crown and peers directly at the viewer.

Jonathan Yeo says: ‘When Kevin came to London to take over the Old Vic, critics were lining-up to predict that he'd only last a few months before jumping straight on a plane back to Hollywood. The fact he has stuck at it for 10 years, revitalising the international reputation of British theatre, made him an obvious choice for inclusion in my first display at the National Portrait Gallery.

‘We decided to put him in character as Shakespeare's notorious villain, partly as a nod to the tradition of theatrical portraits of the past, and partly as a celebration of what may go down as his most memorable stage role. The main dilemma with painting a great actor in a role is knowing how much you are portraying the man and how much the character he is playing. In the end I tried to leave it to the viewer to decide for themselves. It’s been Richard III’s year, from being unearthed in a Leicester Council car park to being on display at the National Portrait Gallery. Not a bad showing for someone who's been dead for six centuries!’

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