National Portrait Gallery to hang portrait of war hero and humanitarian

6 September 2017

Portrait of Sue Ryder and Leonard Cheshire by artist Rosalind CuthbertIn honour of his groundbreaking contribution to the lives of disabled people, London’s National Portrait Gallery will rehang a portrait of war hero and humanitarian Leonard Cheshire on Wednesday 6 September — the day before what would have been his 100th birthday.

The portrait, featuring Leonard’s wife and fellow humanitarian Sue Ryder, will be rehung at an intimate drinks reception organised by international charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. The oil painting, which will hang in the Balcony Gallery, was completed in 1982 by London artist Rosalind Cuthbert.

The distinguished second world war bomber pilot and Victoria Cross recipient dedicated his life to helping those in need, including founding a charity in his name, Leonard Cheshire Disability. 

Sketch of Sue Ryder and Leonard Cheshire by artist Rosalind CuthbertLeonard passed away in 1992, but his legacy continues in his charity, which currently supports disabled people in the UK and around the world to live the lives they choose.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s chief executive Neil Heslop said:

'Leonard’s remarkable story and beliefs resonate with all of us. Leonard was an amazing man who understood basic human need and dedicated his life to making the world a better place. We continually strive to deliver his vision today.

'1 in 6 of us will be affected by disability at some point in our lives. The legacy of Leonard Cheshire and the charity’s work of reaching out and supporting people with disabilities is as important now as ever.'

The portrait will be available for members of the public to see in the gallery from Friday 8 September.

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