LARKIN, PHILIP (1922-1985)
PORTRAIT BY MARK GERSON (b. 1921), photograph, silver print, half length, turned slightly to the right, glaring through his thick rimmed spectacles, signed by Mark Gerson on the mount and inscribed 'London', photographer's stamp on the verso, framed and glazed, size of image 8 x 6 inches (20 x 15 cm), overall size 14 x 11 inches (35 x 28 cm), [The National Hospital, 28 June 1977, printed 1981]
No example of this image, which is believed to be unpublished, is in the National Portrait Gallery. It was taken at the reception held at the unveiling of the Silver Jubilee flower bowl in Queen Square, London, by Mrs James Callaghan.
Ted Hughes thought there were two Philip Larkins: his description of the first is perhaps nearer to the image here: '... rather ponderous metaphorically as well as actually deaf, The All Souls high table manner - owlish with many testy Civil Service departments behind his plate glass peepholes his cultivated sto[d]giness, his slightly unwieldy remarks'.
PROVENANCE: Mark Gerson.
REFERENCE: Unpublished letter of Ted Hughes.