Derek Hill
Sir Frederick Ashton c.1964

Artwork details

Derek Hill 1916–2000
Sir Frederick Ashton
Date c.1964
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 508 x 609 mm
Acquisition Presented by the artist in memory of Sir Colin Anderson 1984
Not on display

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Hill succeeded in combining a solitary existence in County Donegal with a reputation for a dazzling social life in London. His landscapes are boldly naturalistic, while his portraits depict many of the major figures in the London arts scene. This painting of Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988), then Director of the Royal Ballet, was the outcome of a 'vague arrangement' rather than a formal commission. Hill recounted that Sir Frederick had chosen not to buy it, saying in dismay, 'Oh, I hoped you'd make me look beautiful.' He later regretted his decision. Hill sold the painting to Sir Colin Anderson and it subsequently passed to Tate.

August 2004

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