Julia Heseltine Aldeburgh 2003
Postcard (S53)

About the artist

Julia Heseltine was born in London and comes from a family whose history has been strongly associated with painting. Her mother, Anna Zinkeisen, and her aunt, Doris Zinkeisen, were well-known painters in the the mid twentieth century. Encouraged by her mother, Julia started painting at an early age; at just 15 years old she was commissioned by Babers shoe shop to do a mural of fairy tales. In the same year she did her first portrait commission of Jonathan Porritt, then aged 4.

Ted Hughes by Julia HeseltineJulia studied at the Byam Shaw and the Royal Academy Schools. From then on, she continued to work as an artist, showing work alongside her husband, the sculptor, Anthony Weller (who died in 1991). Winner of the Medaille D’Argent at the Paris Salon, her best known portrait is perhaps the one she painted of Ted Hughes in 1995. She has been commisioned by Sir Lawrence Olivier, Joan Plowright, and the Hon Alan Clark MP.

Although trained as a portraitist Julia is also, in her paintings at least, something of a mystic and she has a particular talent for investing real, meticulously observed scenes with an air of surrealistic mystery. Her painting of nuns on Aldeburgh beach is a good example of this, recording as it does a scene which she actually observed in a manner which gives it something of the feel of a visionary fantasy.