David Tindle RA (b.1932)
Portrait of Govette, 1955

Oil on canvas

Portrait of Govette - David Tindle

Portraits: What you lookin' at?

Part I. The Great and The Good

David Tindle was born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, in 1932. After attending Coventry School of Art between 1945 and 1947, Tindle became associated with the Soho artists of the late 1940s and early 1950s during which period he was a friend and contemporary of fellow artist John Minton (whose work also features in our collection). His work is frequently executed with intense precision through his use of a meticulous pointilliste technique, frequently working in tempera on canvas or board. Despite this painstaking precision, it has been argued that his work is always strikingly immediate and emotive. Though his body of work consists primarily of landscapes, interiors and still-lives, Tindle’s portraits succeed in capturing a sense of character and feeling whilst retaining a rigorous realism, dealing with the mundane in a highly poetic way.

Whilst Tindle is renowned for his tempera paintings, Portrait of Govette is an oil on canvas piece, measuring only 14 x 21.5 cm. Reproductions can be deceiving, with this work often seeming to be near life-size when photographed.  Typically, of Tindle’s portraits, Govette captures a quiet realism through which a distinct sense of character is subtly projected. She stares out of the frame – not necessarily confronting the viewer, but instead engaging with the artist. There is a sense of mutual respect and understanding, with her soft, yet also intense gaze and the hint of a smile.