Max Wall ('Max with Onde')

1 portrait

Max Wall ('Max with Onde'), by Maggi Hambling, 1981 - NPG 5578 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Max Wall ('Max with Onde')

by Maggi Hambling
oil on canvas, 1981
36 in. x 26 in. (914 mm x 660 mm)
Purchased, 1983
Primary Collection
NPG 5578


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  • Maggi Hambling (1945-), Painter. Artist of 8 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Born Maxwell George Lorimer, Max Wall became well known in the 1940s as a radio comedian on Variety Bandbox, Midday Music-Hall and Variety Playhouse. He latterly achieved acclaim in serious roles especially in works by Samuel Beckett. The full title of this portrait is Max with Onde, Onde being one of the three cats which Maggi Hambling owned at the time. The portrait captures the moment just after Wall had finished singing 'Poor little rich girl' to Onde who was refusing to eat her food. Onde had originally come to stay with the artist for six months but remained for the seventeen and a half years until her death. Like many of the animals in Hambling's work, Onde acts as a personification of the artist.

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