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Michael Ayrton

© the artist's estate. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Artist, writer and broadcaster. Born in London, Ayrton went to Spain during the Civil War. After training in Vienna, and Paris with de Chirico and Tchelitchew, he adopted his mother's name as a professional artist. On leave from the RAF, he designed Geilgud's production of Macbeth, and taught at Camberwell School of Art. In 1943 he became the youngest member of the BBC Brains Trust. From 1944 he was art critic of the Spectator. He collaborated with Lambert on Purcell's Fairy Queen (1946). Encouraged by Giacometti and Moore, he turned to sculpture. He took his themes from classical mythology; his novel The Maze Maker (1968) won the Heinemann Award.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Michael Ayrton




oil & Ripolin on board


H 63.5 x W 126.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased, 2004

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National Portrait Gallery, London

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