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Art's sake

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astragal

Former RIBA president David Rock commissioned a portrait of his good self for the walls of the institute from Lee Stewart, then just fresh out of college. Stewart asked only £750 for the work; Rock paid him £1,000. Now, having been selected in the previous three BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, Stewart has an excellent solo exhibition of nudes - 'In the Flesh' - in London's Shoreditch, at the Catto Contemporary Gallery. Prices are now about the £6,000 mark. It is a shame that, at a time when portraiture is in vogue (see Lucien Freud at the Tate), the few presidential portraits that remain at Portland Place are tucked away in the council chamber ante room where they won't be seen.

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