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Clare Shenstone

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Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon
Jacqueline de Bonuon

Jacqueline de Bonuon
John Paterson

John Paterson
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Portfolio for Clare Shenstone - Commissionaportrait

Clare Shenstone completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in 1979. She was told that a ‘distinguished visitor’ had been looking at her degree show and left his telephone number. She phoned: it was Francis Bacon, who said ‘I love your work’. He wanted to by a particular piece titled ‘Janet’, this had been the artist’s first attempt at what she calls ‘cloth heads’. Over the following two years she spent a lot of time with Bacon, making over fifty oil, gouache, pastel and pencil sketches of him. Since then Clare has exhibited widely across London and completed numerous other notable commissions including portraits of Zöe Wanamaker, Ronald Harwood and David Bowie.
Education   1972-1973 - Central School of Art and Design  
1973-1976 - Chelsea School of Art  
1976-1979 - Royal College of Art
Awards   2000 - Brian Sinfield Fine Arts Award 2000  
2001 - Public Choice Award, Hunting Art Prize
Selected Commissions   Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury  
David and Iman Bowie  
The Francis Bacon Estate  
Malcolm Hewiott-Weiner  
National Portrait Gallery, London  
Marlborough Gallery, London  
Lady Pauline Rumbolt  
Sir Harold and Lady Antonia Pinter  
Mrs Valerie Beeston
Group Exhibitions   1980 - Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London  
1982 - Nicola Jacobs Gallery, Cork Street, London  
1983/84/85 - Whitechapel Open Exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery, London  
1998 - Robert Fraser Gallery, Cork Street, London  
1999 - Artmousky Gallery, London  
1999/00 - Browse and Darby, Cork Street, London  
2000 - Pastel Society, Mall Galleries  
2000 - Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, Mall Galleries  
2001 - Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Mall Galleries  
2001 - Hunting Art Prize, Royal College of Art, London
Artist's Statement   "My subject matter is the human spirit. This is a huge undertaking as, not only does each person contain a whole world of character, experiences and emotions unique to themselves but they reveal these gradually and change and drift from moment to moment. This is why I cannot simply produce one image of a sitter and say that is my portrait. Painting and drawing is a form of research, a desire for knowledge and understanding. I produce many different drawings and find, especially from one meeting to another, that the more I study a person, the more depths there are. I am seeking a combination of physical likeness and feeling or emotion which fuses, not in one moment, but through the experience of that person’s presence over time. Parallel to this activity is my attitude to the means by which I make the image. You cannot communicate without language and I am continually trying to extend my visual vocabulary. I am always experimenting with materials in order to enlarge the possibilities of image making. The great portrait painters for me are those who combine technical brilliance and innovation with the greatest humanity.”

Statement      “I have an initial sitting and produce a series of sketches. From these I work on preliminary drawings to investigate and establish likeness, composition and emotion. I arrange a second sitting. Prior to the sitting I show and discuss the preliminary work. At this stage, the client may say they want a particular drawing or drawings and are satisfied. If the client wishes to develop the portrait further, we continue with the sitting on the basis I have now discussed which images are to be pursued and in what direction. Obviously it depends on what is required and how things go, as to the number of sittings needed, especially in the case of children where they may be very young and two, three or even four different portraits are involved. With very young children, patience is required and it is vital to make it fun and not over do it especially at the first sitting. However, normally a sitting will last about two hours and two to three sittings should be sufficient.”


Travel nationally    Yes
Travel internationally    Yes
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Portrait Format:
  Head and Shoulders   From £ 10000    $15000
Half LengthFrom £ 12000 $20000
Full LengthFrom £ 25000 $40000
The Prices quoted are for the standard mediums of oil on canvas and bronze
(in the case of sculpture).
For other media, prices may vary, please enquire directly with us for more specific quotes.
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Press Quotes
“It is a remarkable and rather horrific likeness, but each of her insistent studies catches a mood or angle. If you want the real Francis Bacon… here he is.”  
— John Mcwen, The Sunday Telegraph, 1998