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Image of Grahame Appleby

New exhibition features portrait of Jesus College's Head Porter

A portrait of Jesus College’s Head Porter Grahame Appleby will feature in an exhibition that is receiving widespread media attention.

Porters are the unsung heroes of Cambridge Colleges: their work is vital to Fellows, students and staff, as well as to College visitors.

Since 2014 Louise Riley-Smith, a professional portrait painter who is also married to a retired Fellow of Emmanuel College, has been painting portraits of head porters, either in her central Cambridge studio or on location in the Colleges. The project will culminate in an exhibition of 25 paintings at the Pitt Building in central Cambridge from 18-24 June.

Louise spends around six hours with each of the Porters. She said: “The first impression is often the important one – it suggests the pose and the composition”.

Grahame said: “I sat for Louise on four occasions. I must admit that sitting still and doing nothing for two hours at a time is quite difficult, although Louise was very talkative, which helped to pass the time. On completion I had my first look at the portrait, which I was very pleased with”.

Louise Riley-Smith has completed commissioned portraits for a variety of people, including members of the diplomatic and civil services, clergy, lawyers, senior academics and decorated military personnel.

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