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Richard Hamilton

© David Hockney 1971

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Richard Hamilton

by David Hockney
etching and aquatint, 1971
13 3/8 in. x 10 1/2 in. (340 mm x 267 mm)
Purchased, 1979
Primary Collection
NPG 5279

Sitterback to top

  • Richard Hamilton (1922-2011), Painter. Sitter in 13 portraits, Artist of 2 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • David Hockney (1937-), Artist. Artist associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 49 portraits.

This portraitback to top

In 1971, Hamilton had one-man exhibitions in Vancouver, Milan, Amsterdam and Berlin. Earlier in the year, Hamilton had, with David Hockney, taken part in protests against the proposed museum admission charges in London. In a report of the protest, published in The Times, they were described as 'David Hockney (crisp mackintosh and blue gym shoes)' and 'Richard Hamilton (a jaunty cap and a naval manner)'.
Like Hamilton, Bradford-born Hockney is credited with widening the horizons of British art in the 1960s and 1970s. Hockney's portrait of Hamilton represents the period 1967-79 in which Hockney, experimenting with greater realism and naturalistic use of perspective, produced a number of portraits of friends and relations in various formats and scales.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Howgate, Sarah; Stern Shapiro, Barbara; Glazebrook; Mark; White, Edmund; Livingstone, Marco, David Hockney Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 October 2006 to 21 January 2007), p. 113 Read entry

    The painter, printmaker, teacher and exhibition organiser Richard Hamilton (1922-) has been a seminal figure in British art for more than forty years. In the 1950s, he was a leading member of the independent Group, an eclectic mix of artists and writers who met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Robin Darwin, Principal of the Royal College of Art, encouraged important art world figures to visit the college's Painting Studio and it was here that Hockney and Hamilton first encountered each other. Hamilton was teaching part-time in the RCA Interior Design department and when asked to select a painting student for a £5 prize, chose Hockney for his talent and humour. In 1964 Hamilton invited Hockney to give one of a series of artists' talks about recent work at the ICA and his discussion of homosexual imagery in America was a great success. Hockney spent several summers at Hamilton's French holiday home in Cadaqués, the setting for this etching.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 275

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1971back to top

Current affairs

The United Kingdom changes to the Decimal System for currency, getting rid of shillings, and guineas and simplifying the denomination of pounds into 100 pence. This brought the British pound sterling in line with other currencies and made computer calculation easier.

Art and science

Michael Caine stars in the filmGet Carter, a British crime classic about a man who sets out to get bloody revenge on the gangsters that killed his brother.


The Immigration Act consolidated previous legislation in order to limit immigration, by requiring applicants to hold a work permit and introduced the concept of right of abode.
In Uganda, Idi Amin overthrows President Milton Obote and becomes dictator.

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