by Sir Matthew Smith
oil on canvas, circa 1948-1949
30 in. x 20 in. (762 mm x 508 mm)
Lent by Tracy Stewart Granger, the estate of Jean Simmons, 2013
Artistback to top
- Sir Matthew Smith (1879-1959), Painter. Artist of 4 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was made in 1946, when seventeen-year-old Simmons portrayed Estella in David Lean’s adaptation of Dickens’s Great Expectations. Many years later, she took the role of Miss Havisham in a television adaptation of the same novel (1991). She married the actor Stewart Granger in 1950, and he commissioned this portrait from Matthew Smith as a gift for Simmons.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Colour, Light, Texture: Portraits by Matthew Smith and Frank Dobson (5 August 2014 - 6 April 2015)
Events of 1948back to top
Current affairsPrince Charles is born in Buckingham Palace; he is the first son of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh
The Secretary of State for Health, Aneurin Bevan, introduces the National Health Service. Health services in Britain were now funded from central taxation and free at the point of use for every resident of the country.
Art and scienceThe First Morris Minor car designed by Alec Issigonis and his team (also responsible for the Mini) takes to the road, becoming a popular and classic English design.
F.R. Leavis publishes his influential study of the English novel, The Great Tradition. The book set out Leavis's ideas on the proper relationship between literary form and moral concern.
InternationalThe policy of Apartheid is adopted in South Africa. Apartheid was a set of laws allowing racial segregation and discrimination against the black majority by the white ruling class.
As part of the dispute between Western and Soviet controlled Berlin, the Soviet Union blockades West Berlin, cutting off supplies. Anxious to avoid a conflict, America, Britain and France responded by flying in food and other provisions.
See this portrait
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery