Jonathan Yeo painting of Malala Yousafzai unveiled at National Portrait Gallery

Yeo says he hopes the painting reflects 'the slight paradox of someone with enormous power yet vulnerability and youth at the same time'

Daisy Wyatt
Thursday 12 September 2013 13:44

A portrait of Malala Yousafzai will go on show at the National Portrait Gallery tomorrow as part of a new Jonathan Yeo exhibition.

The portrait of Malala called 'Girl Reading,' painted by Yeo, shows the young education activist doing her homework.

Malala, 16, made headlines internationally after being shot by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012 following her campaign for girls to have the right to attend school in her country.

Click here or on 'view gallery' for more portraits by Jonathan Yeo

The artist first met Malala in April 2013 when she was recovering from a severe head injury after being shot by the Taliban.

He said: “It was a great privilege to spend some time with Malala and her family at such a pivotal moment in her life.

"Given how much she has already been through and all that she represents to the world, it took a while to adjust to the fact that she is still a very fragile teenager.

“Hopefully the painting reflects the slight paradox of representing someone with enormous power and wisdom yet vulnerability and youth at the same time.”

Malala, who now goes to school in the UK, said she was “honoured” and “touched” to have her portrait by Yeo hung in the National Portrait Gallery.

She said: “I am honoured that the National Portrait Gallery should wish to hang my picture and touched that Jonathan asked to paint me. I think that he has really captured me in the image.”

Yeo’s portrait will be sold after the exhibition to raise money for The Malala Fund, a charity set up by Malala to support the fight for girls’ right to education.

Malala recently awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize for her inspirational work and courage.

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