1 portrait on display in Room 40 at the National Portrait Gallery
by Maggi Hambling
60 1/4 in. x 40 in. (1530 mm x 1016 mm)
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Maggi Hambling met Stephen Fry in 1993 and asked him to sit for her. In all she made three oil paintings from life, a number of oil sketches and about two dozen drawings. During breaks they often discussed Oscar Wilde, though it was some years later that Hambling made a bronze memorial sculpture of Wilde, on Adelaide Street near Trafalgar Square, and that Fry played him in the film Wilde (1997). This portrait of his face half-crumpled by neurotic anxiety was preferred to her finished painting of him. It was acquired by the Trustees on the day that Fry disappeared from public view, halfway through the run of an unsuccessful production of Simon Gray's play Cell Mates.