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Sir Tim Berners-Lee

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee

by Sean Henry
painted bronze, 2015
46 1/8 in. x 17 3/8 in. (1170 mm x 440 mm) overall
Commissioned; made possible by J.P. Morgan through the Fund for New Commissions, 2014
Primary Collection
NPG 6996

Sitterback to top

  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee (1955-), Inventor of the World Wide Web and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium. Sitter in 3 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sean Henry (1965-), Artist. Artist of 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Cast in bronze and painted, the sculpture depicts Berners-Lee standing and is two-thirds life-size, displayed on a plinth. Henry spent two days with Berners-Lee in Boston, observing him at work and visiting him at home. The pose for the portrait is taken from a number of photographs Henry took of his sitter walking outside, carrying the indispensible leather rucksack in which he keeps his laptop. Henry was interested in the paradox inherent in the impact of Berners-Lee’s invention and his self-effacing demeanour. Henry’s sculpted figures are usually anonymous, and in this portrait he has retained the idea of his subject as ‘everyman’, through the casual pose and his simply dressed appearance. The depiction of his sitter is resolutely contemporary, but the use of bronze has a timeless and permanent quality appropriate for a sitter with such a significant legacy.

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