In a prodigious career spanning more than four decades, Andrew Festing has painted over 750 portraits, including commissions for the Royal Family, the House of Commons and Lord’s Cricket Ground. This beautifully illustrated biography traces the development of his artistic career, from promising early beginnings at Ampleforth College under the tutelage of sculptor John Bunting, to his current international status as one of Britain’s most prestigious portrait painters.

This account, told with wit and candour by author Jenny Pery, explores Andrew Festing’s unusual family background and the influences, artistic and otherwise, on his life and work. It covers his years at Sotheby’s, as well as his tenure as President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, during which he made great efforts to promote the practice of painting from the life in an increasingly digitalised world. The book discusses his meticulous painting methods, offering a vivid insight into the mind of a remarkable artist, and concludes with a list of all his portraits, including the multiple portraits and ‘conversation pieces’ for which he is justly famous.

About the Author

Jenny Pery was born in Calcutta, India. She studied Russian and French at Oxford University, and raised her family in Argyll, Scotland, before taking further degrees in Fine Art in London and Exeter. Now an author and art historian, Pery has written numerous titles on British art, including monographs and books on the painters Solomon J Solomon RA, Claude Rogers OBE, Tristram Hillier RA, John Dodgson, Caziel, Edward Piper, Anthony Eyton RA, Daphne Todd OBE, Benedict Rubbra, Robert Organ, Francis Hewlett and Alan Cotton; on the sculptors Bridget McCrum and Dominic Welch; and also on six contemporary wood engravers. Pery now lives permanently on Dartmoor, in Devon, where she intersperses writing with painting and printmaking in her studios.