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Hitherto no one has been able to identify the subject of this imposing 4ft 21/2in by 7ft 41/2in (1.28 x 1.94) canvas, Cheyenne Westphal, head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Europe, describing her as a “young beauty queen”. But has a Littlehampton subscriber to the Antiques Trade Gazette, Michael Charles, solved the mystery? He has kindly sent us this photograph of Christine Keeler, bottom right, from around the time of the Profumo scandal, suggesting she was Polke’s unknown “beauty queen”. The similarities are certainly persuasive – just look at those eyebrows – as is the dating.

Christine Keeler’s image was first splashed across the newspapers when John Profumo resigned as Secretary of State for War in June 1963, which is the year in which Polke began his Doppel portrat. If Mr. Charles’ hunch is right and the inspiration does turn out to be Keeler (Polke, b.1941, is still around to ask) then this masterpiece of German Pop Art becomes an even more complex and ironic meditation on the subject of ‘ideal’ beauty.