This portrait was painted in 1971–1972 by a still active husband and wife team Fionnuala Boyd and Lesley Evans.
Fionnuala had been my exact contemporary at the University of Leeds (1963–1967) under the benign tutelage of Quentin Bell, one of the last of the Bloomsbury Group. Fionnuala married Lesley who was at Leeds College (shades of Henry Moore). They created my portrait for our mutual amusement, and when David Hockney saw it at the Angela Flowers Gallery, he wanted them to paint him, too. The picture shows me ‘at home’ in the top-floor flat in a Victorian house in Bayswater, where I was to live until 2001. By the time of the Leicester exhibition in 1985 the picture had become mildly unfashionable, but was admired by my friends and sometimes caused indulgent smiles because of the Carnaby Street fashion from Take 6.
It was something of a surprise therefore that Mrs Robin Paisey (another Leodensian), curator at Leicester asked me to give the picture to them. I obliged, but she could not resist putting on the label ‘...distinguished art historian, but note the flared trousers’. Nowadays, the picture is mostly in the reserve, but it acts as a record of events surrounding my interest in Georges de La Tour, which took place more than a quarter of a century ago.
Christopher Wright, Art UK advisor, art historian, artist and author of numerous catalogues of Old Master paintings in Britain