Belfast Telegraph

First World War portrait goes on show at National Portrait Gallery

The oil sketch shows the then Prince Of Wales on the Western Front during the First World War

A portrait of the royal who would become King Edward VIII and later abdicate is going on display for the first time.

The oil sketch shows the then Prince Of Wales on the Western Front during the First World War.

It will be shown at the National Portrait Gallery in its new gallery spaces, devoted to its early 20th Century collection.

Artist Frank O Salisbury painted the work on the Western Front in 1917 and recalled: “He sat very well… We were quite near the fighting line and the guns were going incessantly.”

The work will be displayed in the Gallery’s First World War room, with three life-size First World War group portraits of naval and general officers, reunited for the first time in decades.

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The National Portrait Gallery in London (Andrew Gray/PA)

The National Portrait Gallery has announced four new rooms, holding 121 portraits, split into the Early 20th Century, The Great War, The Interwar Years and the Second World War and Post-War Recovery.

Sitters featured in the rooms include writer Virginia Woolf, suffragette Dame Christabel Pankhurst, Sir Winston Churchill, King George V, sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, writers Roald Dahl and James Joyce and polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Paul Moorhouse, curator of the new galleries, said the rooms would encompass an era of “breath-taking changes”.

“An individual born in 1900 occupied a world that saw the advent of powered flight and, within a lifetime, the conquest of the moon,” he said.

“Society broke free from Victorian constraints and the independent status of women was hugely important. The newly hung galleries tell these amazing stories.

“They bring together portraits of the men and women who were responsible for the developments that transformed Britain by ushering in the modern world.”

A grant from the DCMS/ Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund has funded the new rooms.

The galleries open at the National Portrait Gallery, London, on Saturday.

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