P. D. James

 

P. D. James by Michael Taylor (1996), National Portrait Gallery, London
P. D. James by Michael Taylor (1996), National Portrait Gallery, London

I did ask him during a break if he was intending to make me look sinister or mysterious, to which he replied, “I have enough problems putting down what I see without trying to see something else.” He has put down precisely what he saw: an elderly, much-lined woman with, I suppose, a certain authority. It is the painting of a seventy-five-year-old woman by someone still young, and is literally wart and all. It is a powerful painting which I much admire and, like all powerful paintings, provokes controversy. Some of my friends complain that it verges on caricature, but no one says it isn’t like me.

— P. D. James, Time to Be in Earnest