30 November 1941
Andrew Festing was born on 30 November 1941, the third son of four boys of Field Marshal Sir Francis Festing and Mary Cecilia Riddell. He was brought up in Northumberland, and educated at Ampleforth College and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned into The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), part of The Royal Green Jackets from 1966, in 1961 where he served until 1969. In 1968 he married Virginia Fyffe, and has one daughter – Charlotte – and two grandchildren.
Festing worked at Sotheby's in 1969 and was head of the British Pictures Department from 1977–1981, where he became Sotheby’s chief expert for British Pictures, with specialist knowledge of portrait painting over the last 400 years. He painted many portraits whilst in the army and at Sotheby's, and took up full-time portrait painting in 1981.
Festing became a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) in 1989, and was President (PRP) from 2002–2008. In 2008, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the arts. In 2010 he was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Northumbria University.
Notable commissions include Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family on a number of occasions; official portraits of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and the House of Lords in session; official portraits of Speakers Boothroyd and Martin; four group portraits of English cricket players in the last 40 years for Lord's; six group portraits of the staff at Holkham Hall in Norfolk. Festing has painted some 750 portraits in the last 30 years.
His portraits can be found in the Royal Collections, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery of Ireland, The Palace of Westminster and many of the major private and public collections in Britain. He exhibited annually at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
- Pery (2015), p. 6
- Hume, Lucy, ed. (2017). People of Today 2017. Debrett's. ISBN 9781999767037. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- Pery (2015), pp. 15, 20, 22, 28, 30
- Pery (2015), p. 114
- "MP and health trust are knighted". BBC News. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
Others to be honoured include Andrew Festing. from Hexham, who is president of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and is made an MBE for services to art.
- "Honorary degrees for brothers". Northumbria University. 21 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012.
Andrew Festing was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters. He is one of the country's most distinguished portrait painters and a fellow and former President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.