Statesmen of World War I
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Statesmen of World War I
by Sir James Guthrie
oil on canvas, 1924-1930
156 in. x 132 in. (3962 mm x 3353 mm) overall
Given by Sir Abraham ('Abe') Bailey, 1st Bt, 1930
Artistback to top
- Sir James Guthrie (1859-1930), Painter. Artist of 3 portraits, Sitter in 17 portraits.
Sittersback to top
- Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour (1848-1930), Prime Minister and philosopher. Sitter in 138 portraits. Identify
- George Nicoll Barnes (1859-1940), Trade unionist and Labour politician; MP for Glasgow. Sitter in 15 portraits. Identify
- Sir Robert Laird Borden (1854-1937), Prime Minister of Canada. Sitter in 12 portraits. Identify
- Louis Botha (1862-1919), General and South African statesman. Sitter in 9 portraits. Identify
- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), Prime Minister. Sitter in 222 portraits. Identify
- Sir Joseph Cook (1860-1947), Prime Minister of Australia. Sitter in 7 portraits. Identify
- Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner (1880-1943), Indian Ruler and General. Sitter in 11 portraits. Identify
- Sir Eric Campbell Geddes (1875-1937), Minister of Transport. Sitter in 20 portraits. Identify
- Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon (1862-1933), Foreign Secretary. Sitter in 41 portraits. Identify
- William Morris Hughes (1864-1952), Prime Minister of Australia. Sitter in 7 portraits. Identify
- Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum (1850-1916), Field Marshal. Sitter in 150 portraits. Identify
- Andrew Bonar Law (1858-1923), Prime Minister and businessman. Sitter in 27 portraits. Identify
- David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George (1863-1945), Prime Minister. Sitter associated with 134 portraits. Identify
- William Ferguson Massey (1856-1925), Prime Minister of New Zealand; plenipotentiary at the 1919 Peace Conference. Sitter in 15 portraits. Identify
- Alfred Milner, Viscount Milner (1854-1925), Public servant and politician, High Commissioner for South Africa. Sitter in 26 portraits. Identify
- Edward Patrick Morris, 1st Baron Morris (1859-1935), Premier of Newfoundland. Sitter in 9 portraits. Identify
- Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1852-1928), Prime Minister. Sitter in 73 portraits. Identify
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Smartify image discovery app
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 49 Read entry
A heroic interpretation of the contribution of imperial statesmen to winning the war. Guthrie studied Dutch commemorative groups such as Rembrandt’s The Night Watch in searching for the mood.
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 90
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 137
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 90 Read entry
The Gallery’s archive has a number of photographs Guthrie had taken of himself to set up the poses; this exemplified his deep commitment to the project, as did his study tours to Holland and Spain. The influence of Dutch militia company group portraits, such as those by Frans Hals, and the aristocratic grandeur of Velasquez, can be discerned.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 716
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, London (John Singer Sargent's studio, Tite Street, Chelsea, London)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1924back to top
Current affairsAfter narrowly winning the general election the previous year, Stanley Baldwin calls a vote of confidence at the opening of the new session of Parliament and is defeated. George V invited James Ramsay Macdonald to form a minority Labour government, making him the first Labour Prime Minister.
Art and scienceEric Liddell wins the gold medal at the Olympic games, breaking the record for running the 400 metres in 47.6 seconds. The distance was not in fact his strongest event, but he refused to run the 100 metres because the heats were held on the Sabbath. His story is told in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire.
InternationalAfter three strokes and several years of illness Lenin dies. Three days later the city of Petrograd is renamed Leningrad in his honour. On coming to power Stalin began the policy of 'socialism in one country' abandoning the traditional hope for international proletarian revolution in order to strengthen Russia internally and independently.
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