Circle Sq Members cannot stop talking about the incredible ‘Evening with Ralph Heimans’. As well as a private viewing of Ralph’s extraordinary personal portrait of Her Majesty the Queen in the Diamond Jubilee Galleries in Westminster Abbey, Members were able to hear Ralph in conversation with barrister and friend, David Joseph QC.
The Diamond Jubilee Galleries are situated in the triforium in Westminster Abbey, overlooking the main prayer space. Opened in 2018, the galleries bring to life the history of the Abbey. Effigies of kings and queens buried there, sculpture, tapestries, and the remarkable Ralph Heimans portrait, commissioned to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Ralph joined Circle Sq. Members in the gallery to talk about the portrait and how he spent time with Her Majesty and slept in the gallery in the spot where the 11ft painting would stand, to get to know his subject and the space.
After the viewing, we walked through Deans Yard, to a beautiful home on Tufton Street, exquisitely designed and decorated by the talented architect Barbara Weiss. Five of Ralph’s portraits had been set up in the entertaining space on the 4th floor of the Tufton Street house.
After a light bite, Ralph, in conversation with David, spoke about his work as a portrait artist, how he looks at different subjects in the context of their craft, their place of work and often, brings them to life through association with a Shakespearean character. Margaret Atwood, Jo Nesbo, Barbara Chevalier and Judy Dench. He spoke about how he looks for the tiniest of expressions, the contemplative moment and the flash of emotion that enables him to capture the subject so exquisitely and so personally.
Ralph has both talent and a gentle tenacity that brings out the person behind the portrait. Having an insight into Ralph and his work was unique and inspiring.
A word of thanks:
Ralph works closely with Lady Penny Mountbatten who represents him around the world. All of us at Circle Sq. are grateful to Lady Penny for her help in arranging access to the Abbey and her inimitable style that helped to make it such a successful evening. The warmth and generosity shown by Barbara Weiss and Alan Leibowitz, opening up their home to our members, was so much a part of what made the evening so special for everyone who came along. Many thanks to them as well.