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On Paper: Portraits of Writers

Past display archive
27 June 2012 - 3 March 2013

Room 38a


Doris Lessing
by Leonard William McComb
NPG 6517(1)

Writers of fiction, philosophy, history and poetry are portrayed in rarely seen contemporary works on paper. The display highlights the material common ground of both artist and writer: the sketchpad or notebook upon which the creative process begins. Portraits include Tom Phillips’s pencil drawing of Iris Murdoch, Maggi Hambling’s ink and watercolour of art critic John Berger, Clara Vuilliamy’s pastel of children’s writer Shirley Hughes, Leonard McComb’s sketch of Doris Lessing and Ross Wilson’s charcoal of Seamus Heaney amongst others.

© National Portrait Gallery, London