Avigdor Arikha

Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Baron Home of the Hirsel, 1903 - 1995. Prime Minister (1988)

About this artwork

Lord Home, better known as Alec Douglas-Home, was one of the most important Conservative statesman of the last century, whose long political career spanned over fifty years. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Neville Chamberlain, whom he accompanied to Germany in 1938 on the government's abortive attempt to appease Hitler and Mussolini. In 1963, after Harold Macmillan's resignation, Lord Home briefly became Prime Minister. The Conservatives lost the election the following year but in 1970 Home returned to the post of Foreign Secretary, which he held until 1974. With its elongated figure slipping to the side of the canvas, this image suggests the character of a man described as the "quiet aristocrat of British politics".

Avigdor Arikha

Avigdor Arikha

Israeli artist Arikha was born in Romania. He studied in Paris from 1949 to 1951, making it his permanent home in 1954. After establishing himself as an illustrator, Arikha made abstract paintings until 1965. After this time, he restricted himself to drawing and etching, making a series of portraits of his friend, the playwright Samuel Beckett. When he began painting again in 1973, Arikha worked exclusively from life, painting quickly and straight onto the canvas using oil paints. The National Galleries of Scotland own several of Arikha's portraits, which are notable for their sense of calm and mastery of colour.