Artwork - Iain Duncan Smith MP

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  • Title: Iain Duncan Smith MP
  • Artist: Paul Benney
  • Date: 2004--
  • Medium: Oil painting
  • Dimensions: 124cm (h) x 112cm (w) x - (d) x - (dia)
  • Categories: Portraits
  • Catalogue number: WOA 6383
  • Description: The Right Honourable Iain Duncan Smith MP Leader of the Conservative party 2001-2003. London born Paul Benney worked as a carpenter and musician before traveling to New York in 1982 where he began his career as an artist. Portraiture played no part in his New York years and it was not until his return to Britain in 1997 that he took on his first portrait commission. One of Benney\'s most known works is his group portrait of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem which has become know as a State Portrait of Israel. Of the Duncan Smith portrait Benney commented;

    \'In painting from life there are always unexpected and often illuminating insights into the life of the sitter, and this was no exception. Iain Duncan Smith confounded expectations from the moment we met, not at all the quiet man, in fact a passionate man and resolute in his commitment to the demands of political life. I have made an attempt at capturing this resolve and strength of character so evident in the last year, but my portrait would not be entirely accurate without a hint of the damage sustained under fire. Nevertheless I hope this portrait will come to represent a man still very much in business!\'

    Iain Duncan Smith attended RMA Sandhurst and from 1975-1981 he was commissioned in the Scots Guards. He was elected MP for Chingford in 1992-1997 then for Chingford and wood Green since 1997. Duncan Smith became leader of the Conservative party in 2001-2003. It was during his post as assistant to Major General Sir John Acland in Rhodesia overseeing the monitoring force disarming guerillas and preparing for democratic elections that he became impressed by the idea of a political career;

    I can always remember the exact moment I decided to go into politics. I was flying in a helicopter in Bulawayo, and I thought: “I\'m going to do it”.

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