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National portrait gallery unveils new portrait of Andy Murray by Maggie Hambling

The National Portrait Gallery, London has unveiled a new portrait of Olympian and Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray by Maggi Hambling. The multi-figured portrait will join the Gallery’s Collection, accompanied by four preparatory charcoal drawings from life completed in the artist’s studio in September last year. The painting and two of the drawings are now on public display in the Gallery until 3 May 2020.

Andy Murray has for many years been a hero for Maggi Hambling and in early in 2019 she discovered that he was interested in her work. Following Murray’s first visit to the artist’s studio in London, the two became friends and Hambling invited him to sit for a portrait. On the morning of September 9th 2019, Murray posed for a series of drawings wearing his Wimbledon whites and the painting then evolved.

Following its display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, the work will travel to the Scotland, Murray’s home country, where it will go on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Maggi Hambling said: “I couldn’t have made this portrait without my passion for tennis — both watching the game and in an appallingly amateur way, playing it. My approach to a portrait is never the same. In this instance the composition arrived not only from the drawings but from my imagination which had been on the boil for some time beforehand, in preparation. Andy’s physicality is at the core of the painting. In contrast to the intimate mobility of her hands in my portrait of Dorothy Hodgkin, the challenge here was the speed of Andy’s whole body as he plays, one stroke flowing into another. The portrait head in combination with his figure in action encourages the eye to move throughout the territory of the canvas.”

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London said: “We are delighted to have acquired this striking new portrait of Andy Murray, one of the greatest British sporting figures of recent years. Maggi Hambling’s admiration for Murray’s achievements is clear in the portrait’s dynamic composition and

The portrait is an acquisition by the National Portrait Gallery gifted by a private donor. Andy Murray is also represented in the Gallery’s Collection by a photographic portrait taken by Karl J. Karl in 2006. The Gallery holds eight other works by Maggi Hambling, including portraits of Stephen Fry, Dorothy Hodgkin and George Melly.

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