Gallery unveils Weston portrait

Related Stories

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has unveiled a new portrait of Falklands War veteran Simon Weston.

The picture, by artist Nicky Philipps, marks the first joint commission between the BBC and the London gallery.

Viewers of The One Show chose Weston from a shortlist of 12 public figures who they felt most deserved to have their image displayed at the gallery.

Next month Fiona Bruce will front a BBC documentary which follows the painting of the portrait, and Weston's life.

Simon Weston, by Nicky Philipps Weston chose not to look at the portrait throughout the artistic process

Philipp's full-length oil painting shows Weston holding his medals and standing behind a chair on which is placed a Welsh Guards beret, symbolic of those lost in the bombing of Sir Galahad. His own cap was destroyed in battle.

"I felt it was important to show Simon's hands", says Philipps, "they were badly burned but he still has the use of them, and I wanted to show him holding his medals."

Weston, who joined the Welsh Guards at the age of 16, suffered 46% burns to his body and face when the Sir Galahad came under fire during the Falklands War in 1982.

Simon Weston Simon Weston sustained serious burn injuries during the Falklands war

He underwent more than 70 operations to reconstruct his face, and has gone on to raise millions of pounds for charity - in particular supporting people living with disfigurement. He was later made an OBE.

Philipps, who was selected jointly by the gallery and the BBC, was previously commissioned by the NPG to paint Prince William and Prince Harry in 2009.

Last year, she was approached by Royal Mail to paint a portrait of the Queen for one of the Coronation Jubilee stamps, the first time the organisation had commissioned a painting.

"The portrait serves as a powerful reminder of the reality of warfare and a tribute to Weston's courage," said Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator of the National Portrait Gallery.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories


Features & Analysis

  • Prostitute in red light district in Seoul, South KoreaSex for soldiers

    How Korea helped prostitutes work near US military bases

  • LuckyDumped

    The rubbish collector left on the scrap heap as his city cleans up

  • A woman gets a Thanksgiving meal at a church in FergusonFamily fears

    Three generations in Ferguson share Thanksgiving reflections

  • Canada joins TwitterTweet North

    Canada's self-deprecating social media feed

From BBC Culture


  • All-inclusive holidaysThe Travel Show Watch

    With all-inclusive holidays seeing a resurgence are local trades missing out to big resorts?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.