Dame Iris Murdoch
with Ginkgo branch
photo courtesy Tom Phillips, thanks!
Oil on canvas,
80 x 55 cm
1984-1986 National Portrait Gallery
Dame Iris Murdoch was a British author and philosopher
on his website:
"Right from the start I had wanted a 'bit of nature' to be present.....At our second sitting I made a wild guess and suggested a ginkgo, and it turned out that we were both enthusiasts for the world's oldest tree. Luckily there is a fine specimen in my own garden and towards the end of the sittings I therefore put in a ginkgo branch, painted in the manner of old botanical illustrations: I first made a separate study of it in case it might die. In the end the branch in the picture was painted directly from nature though slightly adapted to rhyme with other elements in the painting, like the collar, and the arm of Apollo."
August 8, 2008:
Image © Tom Phillips 1986
Tom Phillips is an English artist whose work is fuelled by several persistent preoccupations, expressed through an even larger number of formats. These include painting (both figurative and abstract), opera (composer, librettist, set designer), concrete poetry and ornamental forms of writing, sculpture and site-specific designs (mosaic, tapestry, wire frame objects). He has also taken on several para-artistic roles – critic, curator, committee chairman for the Royal Academy, translator - all of which he has folded back into his art. More info here and here.
Other work with Ginkgo:
Page 297 - Ginkgo leaves
© Cor Kwant - The Ginkgo Pages