1996. Acrylic on canvas. Private collection.

The Papworth children commissioned this portrait for their father's 75th birthday. He sat for it at his desk in St. John's Wood, surrounded by personal memorabilia. John, an idiosyncratic Anglican minister, is the founder, editor and unstoppable voice in the wilderness of Fourth World Review, the green book on the desk. He is an extraordinary individual for whom I have great respect, affection and friendship. The sadness in his eyes reflects the state of what he calls 'our world in crisis'. I see in him an Old Testament prophet for our time. At gatherings of friends he is wont to recite entire passages from Shakespeare so I'll add a relevant quote:

“Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
Foretells the nature of a tragic volume.”

(Henry IV)









John Papworth

©copyright Natalie d'Arbeloff 2002