October artwork of the month: Paul Boateng MP by Jonathan Yeo

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01 October 2019

To mark Black History Month we take a closer look at Jonathan Yeo’s portrait of Paul Boateng MP, who became UK's first black Cabinet Minister when he was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2002.

Paul Boateng

The Rt Hon. the Lord Boateng was elected as the Member of Parliament for Brent South in 1987. In 1997 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, and later served in the Home Office and the Treasury. He served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2002 until the 2005 general election, when he stood down from Parliament.

Shortly after standing down, Paul Boateng was appointed as High Commissioner to South Africa, a position he held until 2009. Lord Boateng was introduced to the House of Lords in July 2010 as Lord Boateng of Akyem and Wembley.

Paul Boateng MP by Jonathan Yeo

To commemorate Lord Boateng’s Parliamentary career the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art commissioned Jonathan Yeo to paint this portrait.

Jonathan Yeo is one of Britain’s leading portraitists. Entirely self-taught, his first major commission was a portrait of leading anti-apartheid figure Archbishop Trevor Huddleston in 1993.

In 2001 the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art appointed Yeo to be the first Artist in Residence to the general election, for which he painted 'Proportional Representation'.

Both artworks by Yeo can be seen on display in Portcullis House as part of the House of Commons contemporary portrait collection.

Image: 'Paul Boateng MP', oil on canvas by Jonathan Yeo, 2003 (WOA 6483)

Further Information

View 'Paul Boateng MP' by Jonathan Yeo online.
Find out how to visit the Contemporary Portrait Collection.


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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