Andrew Tift paints Lord Carrington’s portrait for the House of Lords

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hc-Lord Carrington and Andrew Tift-main

25 February 2015

Andrew Tift was commissioned by the House of Lords Works of Art Committee to paint the Rt Hon the Lord Carrington in 2013/14.

Lord Carrington (b.1919)

Lord Carrington is currently the longest serving member of the House of Lords and the last peer to have held one of the four Great Offices of State.

He served as British Defence Secretary between 1970 and 1974, Foreign Secretary between 1979 and 1982 and as the sixth Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. He is the last surviving member of the government of Winston Churchill, and of the Cabinets of both Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home. Following the House of Lords Act of 1999, he was created Baron Carrington of Upton.

Lord Carrington’s portrait will join the Parliamentary Art Collection and be displayed in the House of Lords. Commissioning portraits of parliamentarians is about recognising the outstanding contributions made by individual men and women to the life of parliament.

This is an important commission for the House of Lords and the portrait of Lord Carrington will now join the Contemporary Collection. The Contemporary Collection is the part of the Parliamentary Art Collection which focusses on Parliament today and on key parliamentarians who have contributed to it in a prominent and sustained way.

Andrew Tift

Andrew Tift studied at Stafford College of Art and the University of Central England. A frequent BP Portrait Award exhibitor, he won the prestigious BP Portrait award in 2006 and the BP Travel Award in 1994 and his work has continued to go from strength to strength. His work is in many collections and he is in great demand as a portrait painter.

The Committee selected the artist Andrew Tift for this commission, after being impressed with his consummate mastery of portrait painting, his clever compositions and his unique style. Tift’s portrait of Tony Benn in the House of Commons has been one of the most popular portraits in the Commons Contemporary Collection.

Tift’s portraits are highly detailed and intensely realistic. Often he uses narrative objects and the environment to reflect and reinforce the sitter’s identity. In the case of the Tony Benn portrait for example, each object selected was personal to Mr Benn and told part of a larger story. In his portrait of Lord Carrington, you will see how the artist has used a related but different approach to reflect the identity of the sitter in both a traditional but at the same contemporary way.

The Portait

The entire painting process has been documented in four short films commissioned by the Curator’s Office. These films give a unique insight into how the portrait was planned, and the painstaking process of painting it over four months of intense work. The discussions between sitter and artist in front of the completed portrait are also a key part of the final film.

Watch a film about the portrait sittings on YouTube

Image: Andrew Tift and Lord Carrington at the portrait unveiling © Palace of Westminster

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