Simon Weston

Simon Weston, by Nicky Philipps, 2014 - NPG 6984 - © National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 6984) Commissioned jointly by the National Portrait Gallery and the BBC, 2013

© National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 6984) Commissioned jointly by the National Portrait Gallery and the BBC, 2013

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Simon Weston

by Nicky Philipps
oil on canvas, 2014
57 7/8 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1470 mm x 1010 mm) overall
Commissioned jointly with the BBC, 2014
Primary Collection
NPG 6984

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  • Simon Weston (1961-), Falkland's War veteran, writer and charity supporter; Co-founder of 'The Weston Spirit' charity. Sitter in 2 portraits.

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This portrait of Simon Weston came about through ‘The People’s Portrait’, a special collaboration with BBC One’s ‘The One Show’, whereby viewers were asked to nominate a sitter for a portrait to become part of the Gallery’s Collection. Chosen from a shortlist of twelve individuals with very different achievements, Weston was announced as the winner in September 2013. The artist was selected by a joint Gallery and BBC interview panel and her identity remained a secret until the unveiling of the portrait. A total of seven sittings, all filmed by the BBC, took place in the artist’s studio and Phillips worked predominantly on the portrait in the sitter’s presence. Philipps’ approach has a precedent in historical portraits of military figures, particularly John Singer Sargent’s portraits of WW1 generals in the Gallery’s Collection. Standing behind a chair, Weston’s Welsh Guard’s cap is placed on the seat. He holds three medals: his OBE, his Campaign Service Medal (for his service in the Falklands) and his General Service Medal. Philipps has painted Weston’s distinctive appearance, a consequence of the injuries he suffered in the Falklands, with great sensitivity. The portrait serves as a powerful reminder of the reality of warfare and is a tribute to Weston’s courage.

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