Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Herbert Asquith PM (1852 - 1928) 1920c.

Frank O. Salisbury RA (1872-1964)

Herbert Asquith PM (1852 - 1928), Frank O. Salisbury RA
Oil on canvas
20th Century
22 1/4 x 18 1/4 inches 56.5 x 48.3 cm
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Herbert Asquith, created Earl of Asquith and Oxford in February 1925, and a Knight of the Garter four months later, reaped deserved rewards for lengthy and distinguished public service. His term as Prime Minister which began in 1908 continued for some eight years, and encompassed some of the most difficult years of the First World War.

The sense of a man who has borne up under considerable difficulties is apparent in this bold but dignified portrait sketch. It is no surprise from this painting that Frank Salisbury was an artist much-favoured by the prominent and powerful, or that his work continues to enjoy such popularity today. A list of his sitters includes the most compelling and often contrary personalities of his age. and he found favour with, among others, George V and his family, Churchill, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Mussolini, Sir William Blake Richmond and Richard Burton.

The power of his art finds recognition in the high prices achieved, for example, at his studio sale at Christie's 25th September 1985, where a portrait of Winston Churchill was sold for 20,000, More recent prices have increased noticeably, and at auction at Sotheby's 27th November 1996 his famous 1943 Churchill portrait Blood, Sweat and Tears reached 135,000, and a second portrait of the same date sold for 100,000.
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