Sidney J. Barton

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

Sidney J. Barton

Sidney J. Barton, 1959
Oil on canvas, 90 cm x 70 cm

Barton (1909–86) was chairman of the London County Council 1959–60 and was made a Commander of the Legion of Honour by France, awarded the Order of Homayoun class III by the Shah of Iran, and given the Grand Cross of the Order of Al Merito by Peru.
'William Roberts . . . was commissioned to paint Sir Sidney Barton, who gave him ten sittings and rejected the finished result. In the Greater London Records files there is a plaintive note from Roberts saying that he had delivered the Barton portrait to Room 151 at County Hall, as it was the room in which Barton had sat to him and he could find no one who would take the painting from him. He finished by saying, he hoped it would be framed. It was not framed but shunted from storeroom to storeroom and, somewhere along the way, a graffiti biro moustache was added . . . A portrait [of Barton] by Leslie Robert Baxter was accepted' – from the Holdaway Family website, accessed 20 Feb. 2018. The graffiti subsequently seems to have been removed.
PROVENANCE: Greater London Council > Corporation of London, Guildhall Art Gallery

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