Saturday, 19 January 2008

Tony Blair: The Official Portrait

The BBC have reported on the unveiling of the first official portrait of Tony Blair.

The oil painting by artist Jonathan Yeo shows the former prime minister wearing a commemorative poppy, to represent his leadership role during the Iraq war.

Yeo said Mr Blair, 54, "came bouncing in" for sittings and described his subject as having "Tigger-like energy".

Mr Blair, who refused previous official portrait requests, agreed to the painting before leaving office. It will be displayed at London's Lincoln's Inn.

Yeo, son of the Conservative MP and former minister Timothy Yeo, said the poppy featured in the painting was symbolic, but was not meant to be judgemental:

Of all the things that people remember him for, the war in Iraq is going to be one of the main things that people discuss. I was thinking that I had to find some kind of representation of that, but that it shouldn't be trite or too judgemental. It was November and of course when he came in he was wearing a poppy. I thought that was perfect.

Yeo, who has painted portraits of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the Duke of Edinburgh, claimed he understood the reason for Mr Blair's upbeat mood during his sittings:

It was a few weeks into Gordon Brown coming off the rails... I can't help but think that his hugely positive good humour and Tigger-like energy might have had something to do with his successor having trouble in the job.


Senedd Whip 19 January 2008 at 14:40  
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Senedd Whip 19 January 2008 at 14:40  
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Senedd Whip 19 January 2008 at 14:49  

Not a wise choice of portrait in the circumstances.

Miss Wagstaff 21 January 2008 at 11:36  

SW - I agree. My only contribution to this post are the words 'OH DEAR!!!' which seem to sum it up nicely.

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