by Clemence Dane
oil on canvas, before 1939
20 1/8 in. x 16 1/8 in. (510 mm x 410 mm)
Bequeathed by Sir Noel Coward, 1973
Sitterback to top
- Sir Noël Coward (1899-1973), Actor, playwright and composer. Sitter associated with 117 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Clemence Dane (Winifred Ashton) (1888-1965), Novelist, playwright and artist. Artist of 3 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The portrait by Coward's friend Clemence Dane was painted while the artist was giving Coward lessons in using oil paint and shows the sitter intensely looking at the easel.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 148
- Tinker, Christopher, Speak its Name! - Quotations by and about Gay Men and Women, 2016, p. 108
Events of 1939back to top
Current affairsBritain goes to war. The German invasion of Poland demonstrated that the policy of appeasement had failed. After refusing to meet Britain's ultimatum to withdraw troops, Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.
Art and scienceThe Sutton Hoo burial ship is discovered. Apparently following a dream, Mrs Pretty invited the archaeologist Basil Brown to investigate a series of burial mounds on her estate on the banks of the river Deben in Suffolk. The excavation revealed an Anglo-Saxon burial, uncovering the most significant horde of early medieval artefacts found in Britain (now housed at the British Museum).
InternationalThe Second World War begins. Germany's invasion of Poland prompted Britain and France to declare war forming the core of the Allied powers. As part of the Soviet-Nazi Pact, the Soviet Union joined the war on the German side, helping, with Italy, to form the Axis Powers. Poland was soon overpowered and the Baltic Republics and Finland were invaded by the Soviet Union.
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to recieve information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints