by Tom Phillips
54 1/2 in. x 40 in. (1384 mm x 1016 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Dame (Jean) Iris Murdoch (1919-1999), Novelist and philosopher. Sitter in 34 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Iris Murdoch was already a lecturer in philosophy and the author of Sartre, Romantic Rationalist (1953) by the time her first novel, Under the Net, was published in 1954. Later works include The Bell (1958), A Severed Head (1961), The Sea, The Sea (Booker Prize, 1978) and The Good Apprentice (1986). This drawing is one of four large-scale studies of the sitter made by the artist in connection with the portrait of Murdoch commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery. They were done by Phillips from memory when, half-way through the oil painting, he found himself losing his original impression of the writer as a luminous presence. The drawings are named after the four elements; this one is 'Fire'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 449