Hilary Mantel Portrait a Living First for the British Library

Publish Date : Wednesday 12 February 2014 - 15:57
Hilary Mantel, the award-winning author, has become the only living writer to have her painting on display in the British Library, with a new commission aimed at showing her "impact" in the world.
Hilary Mantel Portrait a Living First for the British Library
IBNA: According to The Telegraph, Mantel, the double Man Booker prize-winner, is the subject of a new work by Nick Lord, intended as a contrast to the "passive" depiction often suffered by women in the public eye. 

The author, who last year criticised a portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge as showing her with "dead eyes" and a "strained smile", has now attended the unveiling of her own portrait, which will go on public display at the British Library from February 24. 

Mantel, who said she was "thrilled" with the finished painting, told the Telegraph she had wanted it to have "a bit of force behind it", showing her not as a passive woman but someone with "impact". 

When asked whether she feared her previous comment about the Duchess of Cambridge would leave her own image open to criticism, she disclosed she had now heard so many insults they no longer had "the least novelty".

When asked what she had hoped for in the finished work, she said: "I wanted it to have a bit of force behind it. I didn't want to look as if I was just sitting, contemplating the daffodils, but as though I might have an impact in the world. 

"The whole issue of women in public life and their image; so often in history, women have been passive recipients of an artists gaze or a camera's gaze. 

"We are moving into an era where this has to be renegotiated." 

Speaking about previous controversy, following a lecture entitled Royal Bodies for the London Review of Books, she said of the Duchess of Cambridge: "I was commenting on her public image. 

"Any comments you have got to make I've heard before. No insults have the least novelty for me now. 

"I didn't want to sit there looking as as if I was suffering about all the things people have said about my own image. I think to that extent it's come off." 

She added she was "really pleased" with the work, as she embraced artist and Sky Arts prize-winner Nick Lord. 

She told The Telegraph the experience of sitting for a portrait had also aided her own work, as she works to complete her third novel in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. 

Story Code: 194141