Categories ArtPosted on

St Martin-in-the fields to Host Portrait Auction of London’s Most Iconic Actors


SEEN has learned that a series of portraits by acclaimed artist Alexander Newley of Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, Adrian Lester, Sir Derek Jacobi and Lily James will be featured in a gala auction at the historic St.Martin-in-the-fields, Trafalgar Square, on Wednesday 8th March, 2017. The gala patrons are Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh, actors who are synonymous with the London Stage.

Following the successful “Portraits in Character” solo exhibition at St Martin’s in November 2016, Alexander Newley’s paintings of some of British theatre’s most loved and respected actors will be star lots in an auction to raise funds for St Martin-in-the-fields’ buildings, mission, music and for their work with homeless and vulnerable people in London and around the UK.

Dame Judi
Dame Judi

A close collaboration between Alexander Newley, Fiery Angel, St Martin-in-the-Fields and iconic director and actor Sir Kenneth Branagh led to a unique series of portraits of players in the autumn 2016 season of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company at The Garrick Theatre. Alexander Newley worked on the portraits for a year, and was granted unprecedented access backstage at The Garrick Theatre in order to capture the energy and dynamism of the actors in character.

Alexander Newley is the leading contemporary artist specialising in the genre of theatrical portraiture, a lost art more common in the 18th century. He has captured on canvas some of the most iconic figures of stage and screen including Sir David Suchet, whose portrait was revealed at The Garrick Club in October 2016, (and now hangs in the most esteemed spot in the Garrick bar) and Sir Nigel Hawthorne, whose portrait is in the permanent collection of the V&A. Newley’s father was celebrated actor and Oscar-winning songwriter Anthony Newley, and his mother is actress Dame Joan Collins, so he loved the drama of the stage and transformative power of actors from an early age.

Adrian Lester as Othello
Adrian Lester as Othello

Alexander Newley commented: “I was honoured to be given unprecedented access to Sir Kenneth Branagh and his esteemed company of actors at The Garrick Theatre in 2016, and to exhibit the portraits at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The series “Portraits in Character” was the result of a year spent capturing the actors backstage and in the studio. I’m thrilled that Sir Jeffery Archer (a previous sitter of mine) will be auctioning off my paintings in a gala to benefit St Martin-in-the-Fields.”

Ken Branagh as Leontes
Ken Branagh as Leontes

For your chance to participate in the auction (thus helping homeless people) and enjoy dinner in the historic setting of the Crypt please contact or ring 020 7432 6996. Drinks at 6.45pm, dinner & auction at 8pm. Happy bidding.

St Martin-in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square

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