Sir Brian Edward Urquhart

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Brian Edward Urquhart

by Philip Pearlstein
oil on canvas, 2002
44 in. x 36 in. (1116 mm x 915 mm)
Commissioned with support from a group of private benefactors, 2002
Primary Collection
NPG 6618

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This portrait was painted entirely from life in a series of two hour sessions in the artist's Manhattan studio. Urquhart is depicted holding the blue helmet of the UN Peace-keeping Force which he helped develop. Characteristic of Pearlstein's approach to his subject, the sitter is cropped and looms large in the composition. The Gallery’s portrait of Sir Brian Edward Urquhart by Philp Pearlstein came into the Collection in 2002. The funding for the commission was led by Sir John Weston, a Trustee at the time, with twelve individuals who had great admiration for Brian.

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Current affairs

2002 was an eventful year for the Royal Family, highlighted by the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations, but marred by the death of Princess Margaret, followed just three months later by the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother at the age of 101 (making her the longest lived royal in British History).

Art and science

The relationship between two of the greatest modern masters is celebrated in Tate Modern's blockbuster exhibition Matisse Picasso. By exhibiting their works side-by-side, the show revealed the relationship between the two artists from 1906-54.
The 'Party at the Palace' concert in celebration of the Queen's Jubilee brings together stars from the last 50 years of Pop: Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Brian Wilson, Queen, Ozzy Osbourne and Elton John.


Terrorist bombing attacks on the Island of Bali in Indonesia leave 202 people dead, including 25 Britons. The three attacks took place in a bar, outside a nightclub and outside the United States consulate, and were aimed at foreign tourists, although many locals were also killed or injured. The Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah were found guilty of perpetrating the attacks.

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