by Patrick Heron
oil on canvas, 1949
30 in. x 24 3/4 in. (762 mm x 629 mm)
Purchased with help from the Contemporary Art Society, 1965
Click on the links below to find out more:
Artistback to top
- Patrick Heron (1920-1999), Painter and art critic. Artist of 5 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Painted the year after Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, this portrait is a happy collaboration between two of the leading contemporary theoreticians and practitioners of poetry and painting. Both held radical positions, both were concerned with ideas in the abstract, and both were immensely influential. In 1972, in the introduction to his retrospective at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Heron said that colour had become his 'most persistent concern. It is the interaction of colours, the 'meeting lines' or 'frontiers' between colours which are crucial.'
Linked publicationsback to top
- National Portrait Gallery: 100 Portraits, p. 118
- Audio Guide
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 54
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 97
- Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 115
- Gibson, Robin, 20th Century Portraits, 1978 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 9 June - 17 September 1978), p. 50
- Gibson, Robin; Clerk, Honor, 20th Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1993, p. 19
- John Cooper, National Portrait Gallery Visitor's Guide, 2006, p. 97
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 203
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 203
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 199
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 219
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Patrick Heron: Studies for a Portrait of TS Eliot (26 January 2013 - 22 September 2013)
Events of 1949back to top
Current affairsFollowing the Republic of Ireland Act in 1948, the Irish Free State becomes the Republic of Ireland and leaves the Commonwealth. The functions previously given to the King were handed to the President of Ireland.
The Second Parliament Act diminishes the power of the House of Lords, reducing their authority to delay bills from two years to one.
Art and scienceGeorge Orwell publishes his dystopian novel, 1984. The book imagines a future where totalitarian governments rule; their power based on continual war abroad, and overwhelming propaganda and surveillance at home. With 'Big Brother' keeping a constant check on the citizens' actions and thoughts, the individual loses the faculties of free will and independent thought.
InternationalThe People's Republic of China is created after the Communist Party wins the Civil War. China became a communist country under Mao Zedong.
Cold War tensions increase as Germany is split into the democratic Federal Republic of Germany in the west (a union of the post-war British, French and American sectors), and the communist German Democratic Republic, in the east.
See this portrait
On display at Turner Contemporary, Margate
- Bloomsbury and Beyond
- Only Connect
- Only Connect - T.S. Eliot <> Herbert Wells
- Only Connect - T.S. Eliot <> Igor Stravinsky
- Only Connect - T.S. Eliot <> Ludwig van Beethoven
- Only Connect - T.S. Eliot <> Sir Michael Tippett
- Only Connect - T.S. Eliot <> Barbara Hepworth
- Only Connect - installation video
- Reviewers Revealed: Celebrating the TLS Centenary
- Case study: Dame A.S. Byatt
- Early 20th Century
- WebQuest: Painting in Style
- WebQuest: Beyond Portraits
Tell us more
Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer