The Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming, who has lived in Paris for the last 20 years, has given three portraits of the French Resistance hero Guy Môquet to France. He was asked to make the works by President Sarkozy.
Yan Pei Ming, Portrait de la Tante YYZ, 1999, Oil on canvas, 79 x 79 inches
One is going to the Lycée Carnot, Môquet’s former Paris college, a second is currently on display in the office of the French Prime Minister, François Fillon (right), and will then go to the office of President Sarkozy, according to a spokeswoman for the French Culture Ministry. The third will go to the Culture Ministry and may then be displayed at the Musée de la Résistance in Champigny-sur-Marne.
Môquet, a communist resistance fighter, was shot dead by Nazi soldiers in 1941, aged 17. In his inaugural address in May, President Sarkozy referred to a letter written by Môquet which will be read out in French schools at the start of each new year.
The artist’s London dealer, Opera Gallery, says that the artist is also “very close to Dominique de Villepin, the former Prime Minister, who commissioned him to paint his portrait in 2005”.