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J.K. Rowling

1 of 8 portraits matching 'J K Rowling'

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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J.K. Rowling

by Stuart Pearson Wright
pencil with charcoal underlay, 2004
16 1/2 in. x 11 3/4 in. (419 mm x 297 mm)
Purchased, 2005
Primary Collection
NPG 6745(13)

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This drawing and its companion are part of a sketchbook also containing self-portrait studies of the artist. The portraits of Rowling were made during the first sitting held in her Edinburgh office, and the café where she sometimes works, when the artist also took photographs. Two further single full-day sittings took place at Rowling's Scottish home. The artist worked on an oil portrait on paper and took photographs, his idea being to complete the oil on paper, which would be laid down on board. Back in his London studio, Pearson Wright decided he was not happy with how work was progressing and decided to make a smaller scale three-dimensional work - which is what the National Portrait Gallery subsequently acquired in 2005. The self-portrait drawings in the sketchbook record a day in the life of the artist and they are the starting point for a film project still to be realised.

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Current affairs

Armed robbers raid the Northern Bank in Belfast, stealing £26.5 million. Gunmen entered the homes of two bank officials, kidnapping their families and forcing them to let them into the bank, before loading cash into vans and driving away. Police and the British and Irish governments claimed that the Provisional IRA was responsible and several of the people arrested had PIRA, Real IRA and Sinn Féin connections.

Art and science

A fire at Charles Saatchi's art warehouse destroys some of the icons of Brit Art. Hell by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With and The Hut by Tracey Emin and works by Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Sarah Lucas, Gavin Hume and Rachel Whiteread were among the casualties.

International

An earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day causes a tsunami that kills nearly 230,000 people when it hit the coasts of Southeast Asia. The earthquake itself was the second most powerful ever recorded on a seismograph and waves from the tsunami - the most devastating in history - were up to 30 metres high.

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