The Financial Times explains the odd beginnings of a project to depict the lives of Britain’s MI6 agents through 80 works of art. What’s odd about the project isn’t that the UK’s foreign espionage agency has an artist. Rather, that artist wasn’t paid for his work but now the collection is being shown to the public as part of sale:
On Monday, the works by James Hart Dyke went on show at the Mount Street Galleries in London. For around a year the distinguished landscape painter was invited into the world of espionage, following MI6 officers around the world.
His pictures are now on sale to the general public, priced between £950 and £25,000. The proceeds will go to the artist, who has hitherto worked on the project for free. […] Sir John Scarlett, the service’s former chief, commissioned Mr Hart Dyke to produce the work as part of MI6’s centenary celebrations in 2009. “The aim of the project was to portray a sense of life in [the] SIS both to the outside world and to our own people internally,” he told the FT
Art Aims to Shed Light on a Shadowy World (Financial Times)