Michael Noakes

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Michael Noakes
Born28 October 1933
Died30 May 2018
OccupationArtist, portrait painter
Spouse(s)Vivien Langley (m. 1960-2011; her death); 3 children

Michael Noakes (28 October 1933 – 30 May 2018)[1][2] was an English artist and portrait painter.[3]

He was educated at Downside School and the Royal Academy Schools. His prime interests as a painter were in portraiture and landscape. He was President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and Chairman of the Contemporary Portrait Society.[3]

He was a Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and a Freeman of the City of London. He painted actors, writers, academics, diplomats, politicians, lawyers, churchmen, senior military personnel, businessmen, leaders of the industry and members of the Royal Family.[4]

He received a platinum disc for his sleeve design for the record Portrait of Sinatra (1977), the only painter ever to have been awarded such an honour. He has painted many of the world's leading figures. Among those who sat for him are the Queen, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the Prince of Wales and Anne, Princess Royal, as well as most other members of the Royal Family. He was commissioned to paint Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister.[5]

He painted President Clinton, making preparatory studies with the President in the Oval Office – one of only very few painters to have been given such access to any President of the United States – and Pope Benedict XVI. Michael Noakes spent much of 1999 with the Queen, making sketches, paintings and drawings for the book The Daily Life of the Queen: An Artist's Diary, written by his late wife Vivien (died 2011), published September 2000.[4] Somerville College, Oxford is in possession of some of his portraits.


  1. ^ Profile Archived 2014-04-09 at Archive.today, debretts.com; accessed 9 April 2014.
  2. ^ Michael Noakes, painter – obituary The Daily Telegraph, 4 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Michael Noakes profile Archived 2009-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, Royal Society of Portrait Painters website; accessed 9 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b Michael Noakes official website Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine; accessed 9 April 2014.
  5. ^ Correspondent, Will Bennett, Art Sales (2005). "Portrait of Mrs Thatcher comes to the aid of hard-up party". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-11-05.

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