easyJet founder and philanthropist, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, has been captured in oil with a specially commissioned painting in London’s National Portrait Gallery.
Artist Mary Jane Ansell used oil on an aluminium panel to portray Sir Stelios after a short sitting with extensive photographic preparation. This portrait was commissioned by the Gallery’s trustees in 2015 in recognition of his contribution to British business and entrepreneurship.
Sir Stelios’ busy schedule allowed the artist only one short sitting, during which she took a number of photographs, but has since collaborated with her sitter remotely on her favoured pose and approach. The portrait is a close-cropped half-length portrait, depicting the sitter at a desk on which he rests his hands. He looks directly at the viewer. The artist worked up three versions of the portrait; a head and shoulders, a simple bust-length composition and NPG 6995. The uncompromising composition is balanced by the Ansell’s delicate painting technique and the subtle colouring, which is built up from a monochrome drawing through layers of glazes.
The painting is 26 3/4 in. x 14 1/8 in. (680 mm x 360 mm) overall and can be found in the Gallery’s room 32.