by Peter Edwards
15 3/4 in. x 13 in. (400 mm x 330 mm) overall
Given by Bonhams, 2015
Sitterback to top
- Seamus Justin Heaney (1939-2013), Poet and Nobel Prize winner. Sitter in 24 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A pencil drawing made in 1987 around the time that the artist painted a number of portraits of the sitter, including the painting in the Gallery’s collection NPG 6023. It is a preparatory drawing for another portrait of Heaney in a similar pose. Unlike the Gallery’s portrait, which shows the sitter in an interior setting, this drawing is inscribed ‘Seamus in the garden/191 Strand Road Dublin/July 87/PE’, suggesting that the work was made from life outdoors. The artist was staying at the United Arts Club in Dublin when he visited Heaney. The ease of sitting for Edwards is noted by Heaney in Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney, 2008.
Events of 1987back to top
Current affairsHurricane-force winds batter southern England, blowing-down trees, and damaging buildings, blocking roads and causing 19 deaths. The storm was not predicted by the Met Office, a fact that is often jeeringly referred to by quoting Michael Fish's response to a report that 'there was a hurricane on the way…don't worry… there isn't' (the report was actually referring to Florida, not the UK).
Art and scienceAlan Bennett's series of monologues Talking Heads is aired by the BBC. The series featured a set of characters that show the secret lives of the English: their dreams, frustrations, and fantasies. The impressive cast included Dame Thora Hird, Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and Bennett himself.
InternationalThe second largest ever one-day percentage decline in the stock market is named Black Monday. The Dow Jones index in the USA dropped dramatically followed by similar drops around the world. It is still unclear what exactly caused the crash, although worldwide panic selling certainly made it escalate.
Terry Waite is taken hostage while trying to negotiate the release of four men held by the Islamic Jihad in Beirut.