May Artwork of the Month: Margaret Thatcher by Henry Mee

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01 May 2019

May 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of her election as the first woman Prime Minister. This month we take a closer look at Henry Mee’s portrait of Thatcher, painted in 1992.

Margaret Thatcher was the first woman to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to become Prime Minister, and the only 20th century leader to win three successive elections.

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of her election as a Member of Parliament and the 40th anniversary of her election as Prime Minister on 4 May 1979.

Margaret Thatcher remains a polarising icon of British politics whose legacy is deeply contested today.

WOA_3634

Margaret Thatcher by Henry Mee

Henry Mee was commissioned by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art to paint this portrait of Thatcher in 1992.

His portrait seeks to capture the vitality and determination of Britain's first woman Prime Minister. Pictured in her characteristic blue suit, Thatcher is immediately recognisable as the ‘Iron Lady’.

In an interview with Thatcher it was suggested that the image was a little severe, to which she replied;

'When you have been Prime Minister for eleven years you're no pushover'.

Image: WOA 3634 The Rt. Hon. Margaret Thatcher OM, M.P. Prime Minister by Henry Mee, copyright the artist

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Works of Art (Speaker's Advisory Committee)

The Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art is appointed by the Speaker to advise on matters relating to works of art in the House of Commons