T. S. Eliot

© the estate of Patrick Heron. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Painted the year after Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, this portrait is a happy collaboration between two of the leading contemporary theoreticians and practitioners of poetry and painting. Both held radical positions, both were concerned with ideas in the abstract, and both were immensely influential. In 1972, in the introduction to his retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery, Heron said that colour had become his 'most persistent concern. It is the interaction of colours, the "meeting lines" or "frontiers" between colours which are crucial.'

National Portrait Gallery, London



T. S. Eliot




oil on canvas


H 76.2 x W 62.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased with help from the Contemporary Art Society, 1965

Work type



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Normally on display at

National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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