Michael Ayrton (1921-1975)


Ayrton established himself as an energetic and prolific artist whose work was cut short by his death aged 54.  He was a versatile and respected painter, sculptor, etcher, illustrator, theatre designer, film director, radio broadcaster, art critic and novelist. 

During his late teenage years, he spent time in Paris with his close friend John Minton, the two heavily influenced by the French neo-romantics of the time.  Invalided out of the RAF, Ayrton taught life drawing and theatre design at  Camberwell School of Art and later followed Graham Sutherland to Pembrokeshire, spending summers painting landscapes.  The impact of Sutherland’s work is clear in Ayrton’s paintings.  From the late 1940s he became increasingly concerned with sculptural form and by the 1950s was sculpting in bronze, receiving encouragement from Henry Moore.

In the last years of his life, Ayrton lived near Great Bardfield in the village of Toppesfield, although he appears to have had little in common with other artists of the area.  He exhibited widely in Britain and abroad and his works are held in many public collections.

Past Sales at Sworders

Request a valuation

If you're considering the sale of your items, we are happy to offer a free online valuation service. Please fill out the form and press the 'Submit' button below. Expect to hear from the appropriate valuer as soon as possible.


Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.

Lot Alerts

Don't miss out on the things you love! Sign up for our free Lot Alert service and we'll send you a reminder when an item you want is coming up.