A fierce scandal erupted over a painting depicting a young Sean Connery in swimming trunks.

A fierce scandal erupted over a painting depicting a young Sean Connery in swimming trunks.

A bitter scandal flares up over a 1952 painting of Sean Connery in swimming trunks after the artist’s daughter said that Edinburgh College was refusing to return the heirloom.

  • Alison Kendall says a painting of her late father Al Fairweather, painted in 1952 from a life lesson, is being kept at Edinburgh University College against her wishes.
  • The oil painting on canvas shows a side view of Connery wearing blue trunks.
  • The college says it’s standard practice to keep coursework as part of its collection.
  • Kendall is now considering legal action against the institution, she told the Telegraph.

A scandal erupted between the daughter of the artist who painted a young Sean Connery in swimming trunks and the Edinburgh College of Art after the institution refused to return the family heirloom to her, she claims.

Alison Kendall says a painting by her late father Al Fairweather, painted in 1952 from a life lesson, is kept at Edinburgh University College against her wishes, despite her numerous requests to return the 70-year-old oil painting.

Retired, bilingual secretary Ms Kendall says the college’s pushy approaches haven’t helped preserve her father’s picture because the institution says it’s standard practice to keep previous students’ coursework.

Scroll down for video

The 1952 oil on canvas by artist Al Fairweather shows Bond star Sean Connery clad in blue swimming trunks on the side.  The artist's daughter claims the Edinburgh College of Art turned down her requests to have the painting returned to her.

The 1952 oil on canvas by artist Al Fairweather shows Bond star Sean Connery clad in blue swimming trunks on the side. The artist’s daughter claims the Edinburgh College of Art turned down her requests to have the painting returned to her.

Alison Kendall says her late father Al Fairweather's 1952 painting of Connery, taken shortly before his Bond days, is being held at Edinburgh University College against her will (pictured: Sean Connery in Goldfinger)

Alison Kendall says her late father Al Fairweather’s 1952 painting of Connery, taken shortly before his Bond days, is being held at Edinburgh University College against her will (pictured: Sean Connery in Goldfinger)

MailOnline has contacted the Edinburgh College of Art for comment.

Ms Kendall told The Telegraph she is the rightful owner of the painting because her father left his work to her when he died in 1993. She first saw the painting at a centenary exhibition at a Scottish college in 2007.

The oil-on-canvas painting depicts a side view of Connery dressed in blue swimming trunks, painted just before he auditioned for the production of South Pacific, a role that would later lead to his famous character of Secret Agent 007 James Bond. .

The painting was included in the Ten Decades exhibition at the City Art Center in Edinburgh in 2007.

Kendall told the newspaper: “My parents divorced when I was only two years old. It was not friendly, and I had little contact with my father.

“As a result, I didn’t have many of my father’s works as a child, only one or two paintings that he gave me for my birthdays.”

Connery died in 2020 at the age of 90 from dementia.  In the early fifties, he became interested in bodybuilding, and his trip to London in 1953 to participate in the competition

Connery died in 2020 at the age of 90 from dementia. In the early fifties, he became interested in bodybuilding, and his trip to London in 1953 to participate in the competition “Mr. Universe” marked the beginning of his acting career.

The most famous Bond?  Sean Connery and Kim Basinger in Never Say Never, 1983.

The most famous Bond? Sean Connery and Kim Basinger in Never Say Never, 1983.

After asking the college to return the artwork to her, the college sought legal advice, she says, arguing that she did not have enough proof that the oil-on-canvas painting was rightfully hers.

A spokesman for the University of Edinburgh told The Telegraph: “If the university [receives] an official letter claiming any work in our collections will of course be investigated.”

Connery died in 2020 at the age of 90 from dementia.

Thomas Sean Connery was born into a working-class family in Edinburgh, in the Fontainebridge area. He left school at 14 and took a job as a milkman.

Numerous other jobs followed, including as a laborer and a truck driver, and then a service in the Royal Navy before being discharged due to illness.

He became interested in bodybuilding, and his trip to London in 1953 to compete in the Mr. Universe pageant launched his acting career.

The future James Bond star jumped at the opportunity to audition for the West End production of South Pacific and was cast in the chorus. Other stage roles followed, and he also broke into television and film, eventually landing a prominent role in the 1959 Disney film Darby O’Gill and the Little People.

But the role of agent 007 led him to international fame and recognition.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.