Former World No. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was on hand to unveil a portrait of himself by artist Maggi Hambling, according to The Evening Standard. Hambling has been a big fan of Murray for many years and the two met at her London studio last September when Murray posed for a portrait in his Wimbledon kit.
According to The Evening Standard, Murray commented, “Over the last few years I’ve become more interested in art and Maggi is one of my favourite artists, so I was more than happy to sit for a portrait — the first time I’ve done it.
It was fascinating watching her work, so much time and effort goes into a painting like this, I hope people appreciate that and how talented she is”. Hambling commented, “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”.
The portrait, and four charcoal sketches done in preparation, will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery until May 3. Murray is currently away from the tennis circuit after undergoing hip surgery. He was expected to attempt a return at the Miami Open later this month but with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tennis tournaments for the next few weeks look likely to be canceled putting a dent in his comeback hopes for now.