On This Day 24 August 1903 the artist Graham Vivian Sutherland was born at 8 Pendle Road, Streatham.
Eldest of the three children of George Humphrey Vivian Sutherland (1873–1952), barrister and civil servant at the Board of Education, and his wife, Elsie Foster (1877–1957).
His younger brother, (Carol) Humphrey Vivian Sutherland (1908–1986), became a distinguished numismatist.
Image Sutherland ©National Portrait Gallery
This powerful work, widely acclaimed, was followed by a portrait of Maugham's neighbour on the Riviera, Lord Beaverbrook(1952, National Portrait Gallery, London), whose newspapers did much to make Sutherland famous in Britain—not least when an all-party parliamentary committee commissioned him to paint Sir Winston Churchill as a gift for the latter's eightieth birthday in 1954. The result, both praised and reviled by MPs, was detested by its subject for making him look old and, he claimed, half-witted. It was subsequently destroyed on Lady Churchill's orders, though sketches for it survive.
Among the best of Sutherland's later portraits are those of his friend Edward Sackville-West (1954), Paul Sacher (1956), Princess Gourielli (Helena Rubinstein) (1957, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada), Prince von Fürstenberg (1959), Konrad Adenauer (1965, priv. coll.), and Lord Goodman (1973). Others lacked conviction and revealed his weaknesses as a draughtsman.
(Source Roger Berthoud)