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Henry capturing Nic McElhatton

Henry & Henry

“I remember the first time I saw one of Henry’s works in the picture warehouse at Christie’s - from memory it was sitting on a cataloguing desk. It was a phenomenal life drawing sketch in paint on paper of a model, and I wondered who the artist was: it reminded me a little of Giacometti’s drawings. I asked a passing specialist which auction it was destined for, and the reply came back “Oh that’s a Dawnay….’’ I looked quizzical… “you know our Henry…. HENRY DAWNAY’’. I’d known Henry for several years working at Christie’s as an art handler, but had never realised that he was such a talented artist.


After that we struck up a friendship, and as a painter myself we enjoyed sharing images on occasion of our latest works. I’m delighted now to be the proud owner of my portrait by Henry, and I’ll enjoy following his career, which I have no doubt will continue go from strength to strength.”

- Nic McElhatton, former Chairman of Christie’s South Kensington

Henry Dawnay (b.1969)

Portrait commissions available

Henry Dawnay worked at Christie’s for over twenty years, and it is plausible that he has handled more paintings than anyone else in the world. Setting up picture sale views, whilst overseeing flat-art in the warehouse, allowed him to study the old and modern masters that flowed through the saleroom, with a proximity and intimacy available to few. His knowledge, profound understanding and appreciation of art, is of a depth more than worthy of an art world specialist, and highly apparent in his portrait painting.

From the age of 19, Henry trained in Florence under Charles Cecil for three years, whilst undertaking trips to Rome and Venice, studying and absorbing the techniques of the Italian masters, such as Titian, Caravaggio, Da Vinci and Raphael. In addition to the early masters, later artists such as Giacometti, Modigliani and Picasso have all had a profound influence on his painting.

A member of the Hesqueth Hubbard Drawing Society, Henry’s work has sold numerous times at Christie’s. He has exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Chelsea Art Society, Gallery 54 in Mayfair, and undertaken many portrait commissions.

Henry paints from life, so should you wish to commission a portrait, he will visit your house for a sitting (which normally takes a couple of hours).

To commission a portrait, please contact

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