News & Awards

Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends at the National Portrait Gallery

Charles and Urban at the NPG

Charles H. Cecil and Urban Larsson at the NPG London for the private view of ‘Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends’

Charles H. Cecil and Urban Larsson recently visited London for the preview of Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends at the National Portrait Gallery. This major exhibition curated by Richard Ormond spans Sargent’s time in Paris, London, Boston and New York, as well as his travels in the English and Italian countryside.

Isabella Watling gave a two-day workshop in sight-size portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the programme of events complementing Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends. Her full-length portrait of Gina and Cristiano was featured in the BP Portrait Award 2014. Both Isabella Watling and Urban Larsson will be returning to Charles H. Cecil Studios to teach during the summer term.

Last summer Richard Ormond, Nicholas Beer and Charles H. Cecil spoke at the Sargent Today symposium held by studio alumni at Morgan Hall where Sargent worked with Edwin Austin Abbey on the Boston murals in the early 1890’s.

Charles H. Cecil, Nicholas Beer and Richard Ormond with students for the Sargent symposium at Morgan Hall, Gloucestershire

Nicholas Beer, Charles H. Cecil and Richard Ormond with students at the ‘Sargent Today’ symposium at Morgan Hall

Contemporary Masters at Fine Art Commissions

During the opening week of Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, Fine Art Commissions inaugurated the exhibition Contemporary Masters representing the work of three of Charles’s former students. In the words of gallery founder Sara Stewart: “Contemporary Masters will not only showcase the leading artists who have been trained in Florence, but will also champion Sargent’s enduring legacy, reinstating the value of the sight-size method for figurative artists today.” The exhibition will be held at Fine Art Commissions, 34 Duke Street, St James’s until March 20th.

For Charles’s foreword to the catalogue click here.

Charles H. Cecil - Zoe

Zoe by Charles H. Cecil


Charles Cecil and Nicky Philipps at Contemporary Masters Exhibition

Charles H. Cecil and Nicky Philipps at the ‘Contemporary Masters Exhibition’


Urban Larsson, Charles Cecil and Fiona Bruce at Contemporary Masters Exhibition

Urban Larsson, Charles H. Cecil and Fiona Bruce at the ‘Contemporary Masters Exhibition’



We are pleased to announce the repeated success of current and former students at the annual exhibitions of the BP Portrait Award, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Society of Women Artists. The following portraits have been painted entirely from life, to the scale of life, using the sight‑size method.

National Portrait Gallery, London

The Studio in the Press

Charles H.Cecil chooses his favourite painting for Country Life:
Country Life – ‘My favourite painting: Charles H. Cecil’ – 20.04.2016

An article in Country Life featuring four Charles H. Cecil Studios alumni:
Country Life – ‘Learn to paint like a master’ – Michael Hall 24.05.2014

Articles in The Artist by graduate Frances Bell:
The Artist – ‘How to use the Classical Method of Sight Size for Modern Portraiture’ – Frances Bell 06.05.2014
The Artist – ‘Focus and Rhythm – Oil Paintings by Frances Bell’ – Frances Bell 12.12.2013