Portrait Artist Of The Past: February

It’s exciting to see that so many of you joined in the fun for January’s Portrait Artist of the Past competition. The winning portrait was submitted by Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco and thanks to all of you that took part.

So for February, we’ve selected this exquisite portrait of the actor, John Philip Kemble (1757-1823), which was painted by Sir William Beechey (1753-1839) in 1798. Kemble was born into a theatrical family and particularly known for his appearance as Hamlet. His elder sister Sarah Siddons was also highly regarded for her acting prowess.

What do you make of his expression? Do you see the eyes of a calm reflective gentleman or a single-minded actor longing for stardom?

Larger version for download

The portrait is currently housed at the fabulous Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.

Here’s some further reading: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Philip_Kemble

And a quick recap of the rules: Every month, we’re asking artists to create a version of a specific historic portrait in their own style. It should be an interpretation rather than a faithful reproduction, so do feel free to express yourself.

To enter, simply post your submission on Instagram and tag it with #portraitartistofthepast. Please do so by the last day of each month. We’ll then select a winner and showcase their entry on our website and social media. Every winning portrait will also be displayed for one month in our gallery (once open later this year).

February’s competition will run from the 1st of February to the 28th of February with the winner being announced before Friday the 5th of March. Good luck and have fun!

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