The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, August 18, 2019

National Portrait Gallery unveils painting of the man who solved mathematics' most famous problem
Sir Andrew Wiles by Rupert Alexander, 2015 © National Portrait Gallery, London.

LONDON.- A newly commissioned portrait of Sir Andrew Wiles, the mathematician who proved ‘Fermat’s last theorem’ after it had baffled scientists for centuries, has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, it was announced today (Tuesday 14 July 2015.)

The four-by-three foot portrait is by London artist Rupert Alexander, who has painted the Queen and members of the Royal Family.

One of the five sittings for the painting, in oil on canvas, took place at Merton College, University of Oxford, where Sir Andrew is Royal Society Research Professor, specialising in number theory. The other four took place at the artist’s London studio.

‘Using a palette of blues and greens,’ says Rosie Broadley, Associate Curator, National Portrait Gallery, London, ‘Rupert Alexander has achieved a nocturnal and ethereal effect that he felt was appropriate for his sitter’s important yet esoteric achievement’.

The mathematician Andrew Wiles studied mathematics at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. His work caught the public imagination in 1993 when he announced a proof for a celebrated problem that had baffled mathematicians for centuries, known as ‘Fermat’s last theorem’. In the seventeenth-century, the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat wrote in a margin of a text book that he had solved an important problem. The note was not found until after his death, and he had left no proof. The idea captivated Wiles as a child, but it was not until 1995 that Wiles published the proof in the form of sophisticated algebraic geometry in the Annals of Mathematics.

Wiles was awarded the Wolfskehl Prize, which had been set up in 1905 for solving precisely this problem, and numerous international prizes including the Shaw Prize, the Royal Society’s Royal Medal and a unique Silver Plaque by the International Mathematical Union, the first and only time the Union has bestowed this honour. He has taught at Harvard and Princeton Universities in the United States and is currently Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford, specialising in number theory. He was knighted in 2000.

Born in London in 1975, Rupert Alexander studied at Chelsea College of Art, The Florence Academy of Art and Charles H. Cecil Studios. He has painted the portraits of many prominent figures in Britain. At the age of 23, he painted HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, becoming the youngest artist to paint the British Royal Family since the Eighteenth Century. His portrait of the Queen in particular garnered widespread press attention and critical acclaim, and his work hangs in public and private collections worldwide.

Artist Rupert Alexander says: ‘I wanted to convey the cerebral world Sir Andrew inhabits, but rather than doing so by furnishing the composition with books or the obligatory blackboard of equations, I tried to imply it simply through the light and atmosphere. Mathematics appears to me an austere discipline, so casting him in a cool, blue light seemed apt.’

Sir Andrew Wiles by Rupert Alexander is on display in Room 38 at the National Portrait Gallery from Tuesday 14 July, Admission free.

Today's News

July 15, 2015

Museum of Modern Art announces acquisition of Tania Bruguera's Untitled (Havana, 2000)

Andy: A Popera brings Warhol's philosophy to life in a world premiere mashup of opera and cabaret

Human hand more primitive than chimp's: Study led by George Washington University

China Institute announces move to new 50,000 square foot space in Lower Manhattan

National Portrait Gallery unveils painting of the man who solved mathematics' most famous problem

Exhibition of new work by British artist Marc Quinn opens at White Cube Bermondsey

Largest session dedicated to Africanism in 20 years in Paris to be offered at Artcurial

Steve McQueen's last special-order Porsche to be offered at Mecum Monterey

Home Is Where The Art Is: Exhibition of 50 paintings on view at Hirschl & Adler

Art Basel appoints The Armory Show's Executive Director Noah Horowitz as Director Americas

Victor Pinchuk, Ukranian businessman and philanthropist is the Renaissance Man of the year 2014

Whitechapel Gallery opens triennial exhibition open to all artists aged 26 or over

Judge Jerome A. Holmes named new Chairman of the OKCMOA Board of Trustees

Shortlist announced for world's top photography prize

Mental Diary: Kunstverein Hannover opens group exhibition

Tania Bruguera appointed Artist-in-Residence for New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs

Selective survey of thirty years of Joseph Zito's work on view at Lennon, Weinberg

Rudy Burckhardt videos of old New York screening at High Line

SFMOMA appoints Jennifer Northrop as Director of Marketing and Communications

Exhibition of works by Michael E. Smith opens at de Appel Arts Centre

Fine Art Bourse: Cuban art the next big thing as USA extends the hand of friendship

RAF Museum launches Battle of Britain Blog for the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain

The Whitworth opens first UK exhibition from the M+ Sigg Collection -Chinese Art from the 1970s to Now

Lisa Gold named Hirshhorn's Director of Public Engagement

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful