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Michael Ayrton

(1921-1975), Artist

Sitter in 8 portraits
Artist of 10 portraits
Artist, writer, film-maker and broadcaster. Born in London, Ayrton lived in Vienna and Paris from 1936-9. He trained with de Chirico and Tchelitchew and shared a studio with John Minton, with whom he first exhibited in 1942 and, on leave from the RAF, designed scenery and costumes for Gielgud's production of Macbeth (1942). In 1943 he became the youngest member of the BBC Brains Trust. From 1944, he was art critic of the Spectator, and worked with Constant Lambert on Purcell's's Fairy Queen at the Royal Opera House (1946). Encouraged by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, Ayrton turned to sculpture, drawing themes from classical mythology. His novel The Maze Maker (1967) won the Heinemann Award for Literature.

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Michael Ayrton, by Michael Ayrton - NPG 5537

Michael Ayrton

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

Norman Douglas, by Michael Ayrton - NPG 4146

Norman Douglas

by Michael Ayrton
ink and wash, 1948
NPG 4146

Michael Ayrton, by Michael Ayrton - NPG 6666

Michael Ayrton

by Michael Ayrton
oil and ripolin on board, 1957-1958
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 6666

Sir William Gerald Golding, by Michael Ayrton - NPG 5536

Sir William Gerald Golding

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

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