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New portrait of Sir David Attenborough unveiled

A portrait of Sir David Attenborough by world renowned artist Jonathan Yeo has been unveiled.

The oil painting by Jonathan Yeo, whose most recent work was the first official portrait of HM King Charles III, shows Sir David seated against a green background. His looks directly at the viewer, with his hands clasped around his knee as if engaged in conversation.

It celebrates Sir David’s brilliant career in public engagement and the fundamental role he continues to play in educating audiences everywhere on climate change and biodiversity.

Leicester Time: New portrait of Sir David Attenborough unveiled

The portrait was unveiled by Sir David Attenborough and Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, at a private event held yesterday at the Royal Society.

It was then exclusively unveiled to the nation live on BBC’s The One Show in a studio interview with Jonathan Yeo.

The portrait can be viewed by the public at The Royal Societys Summer Science Exhibition. The Exhibition is free to attend and will open with an adults-only Lates event on Tuesday 2 July at 6pm. The exhibition will open its doors to all ages from 10am on Wednesday 3 July to Sunday 7 July.

Sir David Attenborough, who grew up in Leicester, said: “It was a tremendous honour to be elected a fellow of the Royal Society over 40 years ago and that my portrait has now been painted by such a master as Jonathan Yeo for the Society’s extensive and important collection is extraordinary indeed.

“To spend so much of my life looking at the natural world and attempting to convey to others its amazing complexity, beauty and increasingly its fragility has been a great privilege. It has only been possible thanks to the extraordinary natural history film makers and the many dedicated scientists who have willingly shared their work with us.”

Sir David Attenborough was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1983 for his services to science as a pioneer of public engagement.

The portrait joins the Royal Society’s historic collection of original portraits – including the likes of Charles Darwin, Gideon Mantell, Dorothy Hodgkin, and the society’s most recent commission, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell.

Portrait artist Jonathan Yeo said: “It’s hard to imagine a public figure who has done more to engage and inspire all generations in the wonders of the natural world than Sir David. At a time when too many global leaders are failing to engage seriously in tackling threats to our climate and natural world, Sir David’s lifetime of work in communicating and sharing its wonders and importance has been a service to all humanity.

“Sir David has long been a personal inspiration, and so it was a huge honour to be asked to paint his portrait for the Royal Society. It has been a thrill as well as a privilege to spend so much time with someone whose wisdom is so deep and broad, and who is also such brilliant and entertaining company.”