THE POET'S LAST PORTRAIT a very special portrait of the poet Dylan Thomas.
Estimate £10,000 - 15,000
The portait was painted by Canadian artist, Gordon Stuart (1924-2015) when Thomas sat for him for three afternoons, near the poet's home in Laugharne, in September 1953. After each portrait sitting, Dylan Thomas would head straight for his favourite drinking haunt at Brown’s Hotel in the village.
Gordon Stuart recalled that Thomas, '..was a good subject and very kindly towards me and told me he was looking forward to going to America'.
But in America, on the poet's fourth US tour, Dylan Thomas suffered a severe chest infection and bouts of heavy drinking left him in a coma. He tragically died on November 9th 1953, at the age of just 39, it was just two months after the portrait sittings.
'It was an amazing shock for me to hear that he had died in New York. I was very saddened', said Gordon Stuart.
The artist painted three portraits of Thomas. One example is at The National Portrait Gallery and the other at The University of Texas.
This, the first painting of the series, was kept by the artist, and then by his widow. It has been entered for auction by The Gordon Stuart Estate.
The painting was exhibited at the National Eisteddfod in 1954, and then again for the first time at Dylan Thomas' childhood home, 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea – during the Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Gordon Stuart was a Swansea based artist. Born in Toronto, Canada in 1924 and attended the Ontario College of Art before moving to England and studying at St Martin's, London, and the University of London. He spent many years as a lecturer and art adviser until 1985, when he decided to dedicate his time fully to painting from his home in Swansea. He won a number of awards and prizes for his landscapes and portraits. His other well known portrait sitters included President Jimmy Carter, fellow Welsh artist Sir Kyffin Williams, former rugby international Cliff Morgan and The Beatles producer Sir George Martin. He also painted Dylan Thomas’ daughter Aeronwy Thomas.