Henry Sandon MBE by Sara Hayward MA(RCA) , oil on canvas, 60″ x 40″, Museum of Royal Worcester
“I think it’s fabulous. It makes me look happy which is what I always am. I’m delighted with it,” said Henry, 29th August 2014.
Visitors to the Museum of Royal Worcester can now see my portrait of Henry Sandon hanging upstairs near the twentieth century gallery. BBC Midlands Today recorded the occasion as the portrait was officially unveiled with plenty of style and ceremony by Cynthia Crawford MBE in the museum last Friday. Painted between March and June this year it is is the first to be completed of two portraits I started of Henry. I am hoping – if Henry is willing – to complete the second portrait of Henry holding a Royal Worcester pot- in the autumn, with a view to showing it elsewhere.
Henry is not only a great character but also an affable raconteur and it was wonderful to hear tales of his growing up in London and his career at Worcester Porcelain. Outside builders and cranes on Severn Street kept us entertained as did visitors to the museum coming into our temporary studio who were clearly very excited to have stumbled across their Antiques Road Show hero. Henry is a national treasure, giving generously of his time to charities and institutions; multi talented, larger than life, a gentleman to the core, he is joyous; I wanted to capture something of his great integrity and also sense of humour. A friend said to me, “Make sure you capture the twinkle in his eye!” and I hope I have. Notice the distinctive teapot tie and his laughter lines. My inspiration for the painting were paintings by Bonnard; inspired by his use of heightened colour and vibrant mark making.
My thanks go to to the museum for the commission; I hope it does Henry justice. Henry likes the portrait, his family like it, the museum like it and so far so do the visitors. I hope you like it too. Pop in and see it if you can! It’s a gem of a museum and well worth visiting.
Museum of Royal Worcester, Severn Street, Worcester Open Monday to Saturday, March to October 10am – 5pm November to February 10am – 4pm