Ronnie Kray's depiction of Christ on the cross was painted and framed for his friend, Billy Webb, while Kray was incarcerated in Parkhurst Prison in April 1972.
One of the notorious Kray twins, Ronnie was sentenced to life imprisonment, along with his brother, Reggie, in 1969. Billy Webb went on to publish 'Running With the Krays: My Life in London's Gangland' in 1995, the same year that Ronnie died in prison. This painting was acquired by the Museum in 2006, along with a painting by Reggie, and letters written by the twins between 1971 and 1990 from prison.
The Kray twins were professional boxers by the time they were seventeen. In 1952 they were called up for national service but were dishonourably discharged after fifteen months, having spent most of their time in and out of military prison. Soon after, they started running the billiard hall on the Mile End Road and forged a career in extortion and violence, which eventually led to their trial and conviction for murder at the end of the 1960s.