10 of 42 portraits of Harold Wilson
by Ruskin Spear
oil on canvas, exhibited 1974
20 1/8 in. x 15 in. (511 mm x 381 mm)
Sitterback to top
- (James) Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx (1916-1995), Prime Minister. Sitter in 42 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A gifted speaker and a skilful politician, he is portrayed in Spear's portrait with the air of hard-won informality that distinguished his public style. The sittings for this portrait took place in Downing Street. Wilson is shown here with his trademark pipe. Spear described Wilson as 'a great actor, using as pipe as an extension of himself'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- National Portrait Gallery: 100 Portraits, p. 126
- Gibson, Robin; Clerk, Honor, 20th Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1993, p. 29
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 212
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 212
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 667
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 236
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1974back to top
Current affairs28 people are killed and hundreds injured in the IRA pub bombings. Two pubs in Guilford popular with army personnel were attacked with gelignite bombs, followed by a pub in Woolwich and then two in Birmingham. 17 people, known as the Guilford Four, the Maguire Seven and the Birmingham Six, were arrested for the bombing but all were eventually found to have been wrongfully imprisoned.
Art and scienceJohn Le Carré publishes his classic spy thriller, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The novel was later made into a BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness.
InternationalA one party communist state is established in Ethiopia after a committee of military officers known as the Derg depose Halie Selassie from power.
Greek Cypriot officers depose President Archbishop Makarios III in a coup d'etat sponsored by the Greek Government. Taking advantage of the situation, Turkey sent troops to occupy half the island, proclaiming the Turkish Federal State of Cyprus the following year.
See this portrait
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery