The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh reopened a couple of years ago after a major refit and it is a truly gorgeous place, inside and out. One more face was added to its collection today, commissioned and donated by none other than Alexander McCall-Smith: a portrait of crime writer and vinyl fanatic Ian Rankin. One of our best-loved local authors paying tribute to another.
It was painted by Guy Kinder and was unveiled at a special ceremony with all three present, and a former Scotsman colleague of ours, Neil Hanna, was there to capture proceedings.
He also got this nice rather recursive shot of Ian showing us his own picture of the picture of himself behind him. You can see Neil’s other work at http://www.neilhannaphotography.co.uk/
A National Galleries press release said:
“Guy Kinder’s insightful portrait depicts Rankin in a contemplative pose, in the surroundings of the Oxford Bar, the Edinburgh pub famously frequented by both his fictional creation, Inspector Rebus, and the author himself.
“[It] was first shown, to great acclaim, in the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in May of last year”
How Kinder managed to squeeze an easel into the notoriously tiny Oxford bar, though, will remain a mystery.