Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai – who gained the attention of the world’s media when she was attacked by the Taliban in October last year for campaigning for girls to have the right to attend school – has become the subject of a new painting by acclaimed artist Jonathan Yeo, with the piece set to go on display in the capital.
The National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square will host the painting alongside other unseen works by the famous artist, including portraits of famous figures like actor Kevin Spacey and fellow British artist Damien Hirst.
Now living in Birmingham where she was treated for her injuries, the schoolgirl has become a symbol of the fight against oppression in Pakistan and was recently awarded the Children’s Peace Prize.
Describing the portrait, Malala said the artist had “really captured” her in the piece, which will be eventually be auctioned off to raise funds for the Malala Fund, a charity which campaigns for girls’ right to education.
For those who are unfamiliar with Jonathan Yeo, the painter has become known across the world for his celebrity portraits and has been commissioned to create paintings of key political figures as well as actors, singers and other prominent personalities.
Speaking of his latest work, the artist said the painting “reflects the slight paradox of representing someone with enormous power and wisdom yet vulnerability and youth at the same time.”
The National Portrait Gallery is located close to a number of other popular London landmarks, with Leicester Square just a short walk away and the Mall – which leads to Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park – situated on the western side of Trafalgar Square.