by Tai-Shan Schierenberg
oil on canvas, 1992
71 3/4 in. x 72 in. (1825 mm x 1830 mm)
Commissioned as part of the First Prize, John Player Portrait Award, 1989, 1992
Sitterback to top
- Sir John Clifford Mortimer (1923-2009), Barrister, playwright and writer. Sitter in 12 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Tai-Shan Schierenberg (1962-), Painter. Artist of 4 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Mortimer sat for Tai-Shan Schierenberg in 1992 as a National Portrait Gallery commission. The sittings took place in the artist's studio behind the White House in Regent's Park; John Mortimer recalled the discomfort ('it was absolute agony') of the grim, cold surroundings, though he subsequently turned them to advantage as the setting of a murder in one of the Rumpole episodes. The portrait depicted as if hanging on the wall behind Mortimer is of the artist and was described by the sitter as 'a mysterious version of him'.
Linked publicationsback to top
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (artist's studio, Regent's Park, London)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Icons and Idols: Commissioning Contemporary Portraits (2 March 2006 - 18 June 2006)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Mediaback to top
Events of 1992back to top
Current affairsThe Church of England votes narrowly in favour of the ordination of women priests. The first women priests were ordained in 1994, inspiring the popular sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.
John Major is forced to take the pound off the European Exchange Rate Mechanism after Black Wednesday, when currency dealers continued selling sterling despite a dramatic increase in interest rates. The event damaged the Conservative party's reputation irreparably.
Art and scienceThe long-running sitcom Absolutely Fabulous airs for the first time on the BBC starring Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as style-obsessed, middle-aged media luvvies Eddy and Patsy. June Whitfield played Eddy's mother, and Julia Sawalha her long-suffering daughter Saffy (or, 'sweetie darling').
InternationalMembers of the European Community sign the Maastricht Treaty leading to the creation of the European Union. The treaty led to the creation of the 'Euro' currency and its policy was based on a 'three pillars structure' concerned with: 1. Community. 2 . Foreign and Security Policy. 3. Criminal Matters.
At a referendum, Bosnia and Herzegovina vote to become a separate state from Yugoslavia. Civil war soon broke out.
See this portrait
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery