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Michael Ayrton (1921-1975), Artist

Sitter in 8 portraits
Artist of 10 portraits
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.

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Dylan Thomas

by Michael Ayrton
charcoal, 1947
NPG 4089


Michael Ayrton

by Michael Ayrton
pen and ink and wash, 1947
NPG 5537


Norman Douglas

by Michael Ayrton
ink and wash, 1948
NPG 4146


Sir William Turner Walton

by Michael Ayrton
oil on canvas, 1948
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5138


Wyndham Lewis

by Michael Ayrton
charcoal, 1955
NPG 6067


Wyndham Lewis

by Michael Ayrton
conté, 1955
NPG 5995


Michael Ayrton

by Michael Ayrton
oil and ripolin on board, 1957-1958
NPG 6666


Sir William Gerald Golding

by Michael Ayrton
pen and ink and wash, 1965
NPG 5536


Humphrey Searle

by Michael Ayrton
pencil, 1965
NPG 6599