Michael Ayrton 1921 (London) – 1975 (London)

Michael Ayrton 1921 (London) – 1975 (London)
Offered by: Strachan Fine Art Ltd.
Dealer reference: S00078


Portrait with Pears 1944
Oil on board. Signed and dated ’44.

This is a portrait of Mrs. Fursey, the cleaning lady of the Camberwell School of Art. In 1942 Ayrton was invalided out of the Royal Air Force but he had already achieved recognition as a painter and theatre designer. In that year he was appointed to teach life drawing and theatre design at Camberwell School of Art, a post he held until 1944.

Cannon-Brookes comments that Ayrton only liked painting portraits if he was interested in the sitter. Of Portrait with Pears he says that in many respects the paint handling and the interest in sculptural form anticipates the later Italian paintings; he also comments that the visual pun between the shape of the lady and the fruit is unmistakeable.

• Fay Pomerance, Sheffield; the painter Fay Pomerance was a friend and early patron of Ayrton
• Private Collection

• P. Cannon-Brookes, Michael Ayrton, Oxford, 1978 pp 41, 43.
Illustrated pl. 68.

Height: 19.75inch (50.17 cm)
Width: 23.50inch (59.69 cm)





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