Sanga, Mahela’s portraits hang in the pavillion at Lord’s

Bipin Dani

Observer Correspondent


Antony Williams, an artist in England believes that it was an honour to make portraits of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Portraits of Sri Lanka’s two legends were to be unveiled by the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club at the Lord’s Pavillion on Friday.
Speaking exclusively over telephone from his home in England, Williams said, “It was obviously a great honour to be awarded the commission by Lord’s to produce the two portraits for their collection which hangs in the Pavillion”.
“Although I’m not an avid follower of cricket it soon became apparent to me the stature of both players and the significance of their contribution to the game”.
In the past this artist also had made the portrait of the commentator Henry Blofeld.
“I started the portraits in the summer 2015 when I think Mahela sat first for me and I produced a number of reference drawings. Kumar would have sat shortly after that and again I produced another drawing to work from, so I probably had 3-4 sittings initially with them”.
“Both were equally cooperative and very generous with their time as each sitting could last up to 3 hours which is quite onerous for someone who is not used to it. During the sitting we would chat when we had break and I found Kumar and Mahela to be very attriculate and well informed. The only thing that we didn’t talk much about was cricket as my knowledge of the game is not great”, added artist.
The sittings took place at various locations. Kumar had invited the artist at his London home. “Sittings with Mahela were at the grounds in Taunton and Lord’s Writing Room where the background of his portrait was settled. I used some of the architectural features of the room for that”, Williams further added.
“At the start of the commission both players requested, after I had a chat with them about what they should be wearing in the painting, that they weren’t portrayed in their cricket whites but should be portrayed more casually, which works well in the final paintings”.
“I had to wait quite a while after the initial sittings as both of them went to Sri Lanka at the end of the season here. However I finished both paintings in my studio in last December”, Antony Williams signed off.

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