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Michael Landy RA, Portrait of Norman Rosenthal

Portrait of Norman Rosenthal, 2008

Michael Landy RA (b. 1963)

RA Collection: Art

A pencil portrait of Norman Rosenthal, Exhibitions Secretary at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1977 to 2008.

This work is one of a series of forty-five drawn portraits made in 2008. The series was exhibited at the Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam that year. According to the press release for the exhibition, Landy began by making portrait sketches of his immediate family 'as a means of reconnecting and spending time with them', each portrait taking 'at least two full days of sitting before the artist in extremely close proximity'. He later extended his range of sitters to include friends, fellow artists and leading figures in the contemporary art world as well as the landlady of his local pub.

In these minutely detailed pencil portraits, Landy 'challenged himself to replicate each detail with complete empirical detachment'. The portrait of Rosenthal and the others in the series are drawn without necks or shoulders so that the 'heads float ethereally on the page'.

Object details

Portrait of Norman Rosenthal
Object type
Copyright owner
Pencil on fabriano paper

700 mm x 500 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Purchased from Thomas Dane Gallery in 5 March 2009
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