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Britain's Finest Literary Talents Pictured in Southampton
Virginia Woolf © National Portrait Gallery, London.
SOUTHAMPTON.- Portraits of Britain’s finest literary talents from the National Portrait Gallery will be on display At Southampton City Art Gallery from this July.

Writers of Influence: Shakespeare to JK Rowling features 61 of the most important British writers and lyricists of all time. The exhibition includes portraits of William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie, John Lennon and Jarvis Cocker.

One of the National Portrait Gallery’s most important possessions - the ‘Chandos’ portrait of William Shakespeare - on tour in the UK for the first time - will be the centrepiece of the exhibition.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘The “Chandos” portrait is an iconic image and the founding image for the National Portrait Gallery. So this is an exciting opportunity for it to be shared with visitors around Britain. I am grateful for our partners and funders who are making this possible.”

The free exhibition which opens in Southampton on Friday, 23 July will feature works by Vanessa Bell, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Patrick Heron and Lord Snowdon.

Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Heritage said: ‘I am delighted to have such an impressive exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery. The National Portrait Gallery is internationally renowned and we are very excited to be showing 61 of the gallery’s most important literary portraits.’

The public normally have to spend a great deal of time travelling to London, or further afield to see an exhibition from a national collection. The exhibition is completely free and I would urge everyone to pop along to the gallery before Sunday, 26 September.”

Alice Workman, Lead Exhibitions Officer said: ‘Writers of Influence: Shakespeare to J K Rowling is a very exciting exhibition for Southampton City Art Gallery, as there is something for everyone with portraits including Charles Dickens, JRR Tolkien, David Bowie and Amy Winehouse. It has been wonderful to have Creative Media Diploma students (14 – 19 year olds) involved in organising such a high profile exhibition.’

Southampton | John Hannides | Southampton City Art Gallery | National Portrait Gallery | Sandy Nairne |

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