John Desmond Bernal
John Desmond Bernal
by Peter de Francia
oil on canvas, 1966
48 x 36 in. (1219 x 914 mm)
This portraitback to top
The artist, a distinguished teacher and Professor of Painting at the Royal College (1972-86), knew the sitter well and used to visit him often at his home in London.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1966back to top
Current affairsThe English football team wins against West Germany at the World Cup Final in Wembley.
144 people, including 116 children, die in the Aberfan disaster when a colliery waste tip slides down a mountain in Wales.
Ian Brady and Myra Hindly are sentence to life imprisonment for the brutal Moors Murders.
Art and scienceTom Stoppard's first play Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead premiers. This absurdist play uses two minor characters from Hamlet to explore the existential themes of free will verses determinism and the futility of language.
Seamus Heany publishes his first volume of poems, Death of a Naturalist.
InternationalThe Cultural Revolution is launched in China in order to bring Chinese culture and society in line with communist ideals. It was also, however, an attempt by Mao Zedong to regain control of the country after the mistakes of the Great Leap Forward.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Arthur Michael Ramsey meets Pope Paul VI, the first official meeting between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches for 400 years.
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 receive 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
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.