Portrait of an Iron Lady

One young artist who painted Margaret Thatcher remembers the experience

Since the news that Margaret Thatcher died this morning at the age of 87 following a stroke, many of Britain’s leading figures have spoken publicly of their memories of the inimitable Iron Lady.

We spoke to young artist, Lorna Wadsworth, who painted a portrait of Margaret Thatcher in 2007, about her experience working with a political icon.

Lorna wasn’t commissioned to paint Baroness Thatcher, which afforded her a certain degree of freedom in how she represented her. ‘I was born the year that she came to power and I wanted to do a picture of her that reflected the Thatcher of my childhood, what she meant to me, growing up in this country.’

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Like anyone, Lorna had preconceptions before meeting the former PM, but her memories are nothing but fond. ‘She was everything you’d imagined but better,’ says Lorna. ‘She was stately and had this amazing aura about her but at the same time she wasn’t scary or off-putting. She really put me at ease.’

Sittings were hosted at Baroness Thatcher’s home and she took a lively interest in the artistic process. Lorna remembers her as a glamorous woman (‘still beautifully presented – hair perfectly done, lipstick – every bit the lady’) who was aware of image. ‘She was a very visual person.’

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Lorna grew ‘very fond of her’, painting her a picture of her ‘favourite view in the world’ – Westminster from Parliament Square – to say thank you for sitting for her.

‘Regardless of politics and everything – she was a really lovely person to know.’

See more of Lorna’s work here:

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