THOMAS, EDWARD (1878-1917, Anglo-Welsh poet)
PORTRAIT BY PETER EDWARDS (b. 1955), oil on canvas, image after a famous photograph [possibly by E.O. Hoppé, usually dated to 1905], head and shoulders, in half-profile facing left, framed, size of image 22 x 15 inches (55 x 38 cm), overall size 25 x 19 inches (64 x 48 cm),  / 2012
There are no other portraits of Edward Thomas in oils. Being a great admirer of Thomas, I commissioned the present portrait from Peter Edwards. While I normally prefer to have ad vivam portraits, I recognise that there is a long and worthy tradition of artists of later generations making portraits of earlier subjects. I find this portrait by Peter really convincing and very compelling, particularly when viewed at the appropriate distance, partly because it is his own version, not an attempt slavishly to reproduce an old photograph.
Peter Edwards writes: 'I have painted many poets, and what I considered essential was time spent together, chatting, sharing a meal, a drink, time to store memory of colour, the minutiae of movement - all the information one human collects about another when you meet. Add to this the scrutiny of drawing and painting. The final "essential" was a love of the poet's work. With the proposed portrait of Thomas I was left with only one of my "essentials"; the poems. The photo is full of feeling but out of focus. Roy found me a good written description of Edward Thomas as I wanted to paint in colour. I found my thoughts wandering to my two eldest boys Euan and Robin (still scandalously unpainted!) who, though red heads, have uncannily close traits to the young man in the photo. As with any portrait there is a final ingredient beyond technique - more to do with re-creation. Is there someone there?'
PROVENANCE: Peter Edwards.