Paul Benney's Controversial Portrait Acquired by the National Portrait Gallery


Paul Benney’s portrait of Fergus Henderson MBE has been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery for its permanent collection.

Henderson is a renowned English chef who is often noted for his carnivorous appetites and use of offal and other neglected cuts of meat as a consequence of his philosophy of nose to tail eating. In Benney’s painting, Henderson is depicted cradling a crisp glazed and roasted suckling pig. The enigmatic pose of the subjects is in some ways reminiscent of a painted ‘Pietà’.

This painting is the latest acquisition of a work by Benney who is notably represented in a plethora of public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Brooklyn Museum, The National Gallery of Australia and The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Royal Collection and The Eli Broad Foundation.

It reinforces Benney’s long standing relationship with the National Portrait gallery where has already exhibited in eight BP Portrait Award Exhibitions where he twice won the BP Visitors’ Choice Award.

Benney's other portrait subjects have included HM Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Mick Jagger, John Paul Getty III, 7th Marquess of Bath, The State Portrait for Israel, Lord Rothschild, as well as Ben Barnes for the portrait in the feature film ‘A Portrait of Dorian Grey’ in 2008. 

For further information on Paul Benney click here