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Work in focus: ‘Portrait of T.S. Eliot’ by Wyndham Lewis


Friday 13 July 2018
11am — 12pm

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Part of our

The Great Spectacle

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Percy Wyndham Lewis, Portrait of T.S. Eliot, (detail) 1938.

Oil on canvas. 133.3 x 85.5 cm. Durban Art Gallery © The Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust / Bridgeman Images.

Join Dr Nathan Waddell as he reveals the story of the controversial artist, writer and critic Wyndham Lewis, his relationship to T. S. Eliot and why the portrait was rejected by the Summer Exhibition in 1938.

Wyndham Lewis’s 1938 portrait of his friend and fellow modernist T. S. Eliot is one of his key paintings of the inter-war period. Eliot rated it highly, yet it was rejected by the Royal Academy, an institution of which Lewis had always been critical. Part publicity stunt, part sincere tribute, the portrait tells us as much about Eliot’s significance as about Lewis’s impishness. In his talk, Nathan Waddell will explore these elements of the work in view of Lewis’s relationship with Eliot, his other portraits of the period, and his critique of the very modernisms he did so much to energise and embolden.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 13 July 2018

11am — 12pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£10, £6 concessions.