© National Portrait Gallery, London
by Jennifer McRae
oil on canvas, 2003
60 in. x 25 in. (1525 mm x 636 mm)
- Michael Frayn (1933-), Playwright, novelist and journalist. Sitter in 7 portraits.
On sitting for his portrait Frayn said: I've spent a lot of my working life writing about how people make sense of what they see in front of their eyes - particularly other people and themselves. So there's something a little comic about being gazed at in my turn, for twelve lots of two hours, by someone who's got to make sense of myself. In the spareness of the background and the drawn quality of the paint handling the influence of Egon Schiele is apparent. McRae has exhibited five times in the BP Portrait Award and was winner of the Travel Award in 1999.
Biological weapons expert, David Kelly commits suicide after being questioned by the government over allegations that the Iraq weapons dossier had been 'sexed-up' by the government. The Hutton Inquiry into Kelly's death concluded that he had taken his own life and that the BBC's claim was unfounded, leading to the Director General's resignation. No stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.
Art and science
England wins the Rugby World Cup in the final against Australia. The match was exceptionally close with Australia equalising with just two and a half minutes of extra time remaining. 21 seconds before the end of the match, England's fly-half Jonny Wilkinson scored a drop-goal, winning the match and the tournament.
America leads an invasion of Iraq after accusing the country of building Weapons of Mass Destruction. Initial success was achieved with the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government and George Bush's declaration of the end of major conflict - 'Mission Accomplished' - within two months of the invasion. The conflict, however, was not over, and British and American troops continued fighting with insurgents to stabilise the country.