As BBC Two’s Icons: The Greatest Person of the 20th Century reaches its conclusion, we take a look at how some of the iconic winners have been represented in art.
The eight-part series celebrated the achievements of some of the most influential figures from the last century. Here are the figures who won each of the categories, as voted for by the British public.
Leaders winner: Nelson Mandela
'It always seems impossible until it’s done'
Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) was South Africa’s first black President, in office between 1994 and 1999. He was also a lawyer, anti-apartheid revolutionary and won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Before becoming head of state he was famously imprisoned for nearly three decades following the Rivonia Trial, serving a life sentence between 1964 and 1990 for conspiring to overthrow the state. He was acquitted after a global campaign successfully forced the South African government to release him.
According to the public vote, Mandela is the most influential leader of the twentieth century, beating UK Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill, and American President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Explorers winner: Ernest Shackleton
'Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all'
Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) was a British polar explorer and pioneer of Antarctic exploration. He led three British expeditions to the South Pole at the beginning of the twentieth century.
British portraitist Reginald Eves (1876–1941) painted Shackleton at least three times.
Entertainers winner: David Bowie
'We can be heroes just for one day'
Known for his innovative music from the late 1960s onwards, and with an experimental and flamboyant fashion sense, Bowie was always reinventing himself and ahead of the crowd.
His numerous classic albums include Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane and "Heroes", and singles include Space Oddity, Changes, Starman, Ashes To Ashes, Under Pressure (with Queen), Let's Dance and many others!
The world was shocked when he died on 10th January 2016 of liver cancer, the same week his final album, Blackstar, was released.
Activists winner: Martin Luther King Jr
'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'
Before his assassination on 4th April 1968, he was a leader of the US civil rights
His 17-minute 1963 speech 'I have a dream' is one of the most famous and enduring of the struggle for equal rights for African Americans.
The portraitist Sarup Singh (active 1968–2001) who painted this of Dr King also painted Elizabeth II – both are now in Leicester collections.
Scientists winner: Alan Turing
'Those who can imagine
British mathematician Alan Turing (1912–1954) laid the foundations for computer science and also cracked the Enigma code used by the Germans during the Second World War – a discovery which helped the Allies defeat the Nazis.
Despite his groundbreaking achievements that changed the course of history, in 1952 Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts, which were illegal in Britain at the time. He was charged with ‘gross indecency’, fired from the secret service, underwent chemical castration, and publicly shamed. He died of cyanide poisoning, an apparent suicide (although this is disputed), in 1954. In 2009, the UK government apologised for the treatment of Turing.
Sports stars winner: Muhammad Ali
'Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee'
Muhammad Ali (1942–2016) was an American heavyweight boxing champion and civil rights
Artists and writers winner: Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was perhaps the first superstar of modern art – he worked across painting, prints and sculpture and was a key figure of a number of movements and styles, including Cubism. This BBC News video examines the story behind what is perhaps his most famous painting, Guernica (1937), on display in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid.
Picasso was voted
The overall series winner
The series threw up a few surprises – for example, as you may have noticed, the public vote resulted in no women making it to the final.
However, perhaps one of the biggest surprises came during the live final on BBC Two on Tuesday 5th February 2019 which confirmed Alan Turing as the greatest icon of the twentieth century. His work on computers helped to make our digital world possible, without which our modern lives would seem very different indeed.
Lydia Figes, Content Creator at Art UK