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Sir Andy Murray dons Wimbledon whites for new portrait

Sir Andy Murray and Maggi Hambling with the painting (David Parry/National Portrait Gallery)
Sir Andy Murray and Maggi Hambling with the painting (David Parry/National Portrait Gallery)

Sir Andy Murray has posed in his Wimbledon whites for a new portrait to capture the speed of the tennis star on the court.

The Scottish player, 32, donned his whites for a series of drawings which formed the basis to the painting by artist Maggi Hambling.

A private donor has gifted the multi-figured painting to the National Portrait Gallery.

Hambling, 74, said that capturing Sir Andy’s pace on the court was a challenge.

“The composition arrived not only from the drawings but from my imagination which had been on the boil for some time beforehand in preparation,” she said.

Andy Murray by Maggi Hambling (Maggi Hambling)

“Andy’s physicality is at the core of the painting….

“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.”

Sir Andy said: “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.”

The portrait will join the gallery’s collection, together with four preparatory charcoal drawings from life completed in the artist’s studio last year.

Sir Andy became the first British male in 77 years to win the Wimbledon singles championship in 2013. He captured his second Wimbledon title in 2016.

He has not been in competitive action since November.

National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan 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 gestural vigour and exuberance with which she has painted her sitter.”

The painting and two of the drawings are on public display in the gallery until May 3. The work be shown at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery after its display in London.

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