King Charles and Gideon Summerfield

Finchley artist commissioned by King Charles reflects on ‘innovative’ monarch

A Finchley-based artist who has carried out a number of commissions in connection with King Charles has reflected on the monarch ahead of his coronation.

Gideon Summerfield, 27, a graduate of The Royal Drawing School, has been involved in three art projects so far associated with King Charles.

One project involved Summerfield drawing the portraits of Holocaust survivors, which began as a personal project before it was picked up on by The Royal Collection.

Another commission marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019 and included the portrait of Rose Davies, a 102-year-old former radio operator during the Second World War.

Gideon Summerfield
Summerfield was commissioned to take the portraits of WWII veterans to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Credit: Gideon Summerfield

The Finchley artist was also among a group selected by King Charles to present their work at a fundraiser, raising money for young artists from disadvantaged backgrounds.

King Charles is in fact so familiar with Summerfield and his work that the monarch reportedly joked about how many times the pair had met during their last encounter.

Summerfield said: “I’ve never had too long a conversation with him, but they’ve extended each time we’ve met.

“On the most recent time, his very first words to me were, ‘Oh, it’s you again’—I’ll take that as a joke.”

Gideon Summerfield
Sumemrfield’s work hangs in The Fife Arms where the then Prince of Wales visited in 2019 to mark the inn’s re-opening. Credit: Gideon Summerfield

In January 2019, the then Prince Charles and Camilla also paid a visit to The Fife Arms in the Scottish village of Braemar, where a number of Summerfield’s portraits hang on display.

Summerfield had been commissioned by Hauser & Wirth to create a series of portraits that documented the local people of Braemar – and, as such, was present when Charles visited to mark the inn’s reopening.

Summerfield added: “He’s very pleasant. He’s always very curious about what I’ve been up to.

“He’s very connected to the arts and he takes great pleasure in meeting artists and people creating lots of things. He’s very innovative as well.”

Last month, the first official portrait of King Charles III was unveiled by oil painting artist Alastair Barford.

The new monarch didn’t sit for the work to be created, however, with Barford instead using a combination of watching him first-hand at a Buckingham Palace reception combined with photographs.

Featured image: Gideon Summerfield

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