Maggi Hambling title graphic

British Painter & Sculptor 1945-


Maggi Hambling CBE is best known as a painter of people, but animals feature prominently. She attempts to envision the fantasy into likeness from such subjects as night clubs, pubs & arenas.

A painter of imagination, through gestures & vibrant colours. She manages to capture movement in the figures with swirling brushstrokes & just slight blurring of the torso. The raffish humour seeps through the canvas, all done with such dexterity as can be seen in the Max Wall paintings & many other figurative paintings.

Hambling completed a series of Sunrises, one called Smiling Sunrise painted in cobalt blue.

Many paintings of Orwell Estuary & others in St Ives, Cornwall were done on the spot in watercolour. Some were worked on later in the studio in oils.

The Laughter series all have a wonderful spontaneity. A wordless, visual expression all too difficult to put onto canvas, but Maggi Hambling manages to capture them with joyous vibrant colours of ultramarines & reds.

Maggi Hambling started working in the early 1990s on three-dimensional works in clay of highly coloured spindly creatures. One can see how she was influenced by Giacometti, although Klee's humorous drawings come to mind. It was a splendid exhibition.

Her statue of Oscar Wilde can be seen close to the National Gallery site. It is a delightful sculpture. She has managed to capture the spirit of the man.

The technique of the bronze sculpture is that of the ancient lost-wax method of casting. The shape is drawn out onto sand & then the indentations are filled with melted wax. This framework is then built up & cast in bronze. It looks as if it has been sculpted with a brush done in the style of one of the impressionists. He sits on the plinth {made out of Brazilian granite with flecks of gold that sparkle} reclining & gazing up at the sky, the inscription reads "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars"

Maggi Hambling sculpture of Oscar Wilde - 10K

Maggi Hambling's sculpture of Oscar Wilde

Image of Hambling's shell on the beach at Aldburgh

Maggi Hambling's delightful scallop shell sculpture on Aldburgh's beach.

The sculpture is 12ft high splayed steel.  It is a tribute to the composer Benjamin Britten & and it reads "I hear those voices that will not be drowned", words from Britten's opera Peter Grimes.

For the last 30 years she has been teaching life classes at Morley College, London.

Maggi Hambling was awarded the CBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list at the start of 2010.  The honour was awarded for the artist's services to art.

You can see twenty or so of Hambling's works online here at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.


Marlborough Gallery of Fine Art, London March 2nd to April 13th 2017

An exhibition of new paintings & sculpture. "In this new series, polar icecaps melt, a trafficker drifts, Aleppo and its inhabitants fall, ghosts hover and Hamlet questions".

To accompany the exhibition, the gallery will present an online exhibition of Maggi Hambling's graphic works here

British Museum, London until January 27th 2017

Included are rarely seen works from private collections & the artist's studio, the British Museum's collection and loans from the National Portrait Museum and Tate.

I particularly liked & chuckled @ Henrietta eating a meringue in plaster. A perfect dessert to complete this feast of an exhibition.

Biographical Notes


Born Sudbury, Suffolk


Studied with Lett Haines & Cedric Morris


Ipswich School of Art


Camberwell School of Art


Slade School of Fine Art


Boise Travel Award , New York


Arts Council Award


First Artist in Residence, National Gallery, London


Jerwood Painting Prize


Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture for the Scallop


Harper's Bazaar Women of 2016: Contribution to the Arts

Recommended Books

Clicking on any linked title or image below will take you to the book's entry at There are more books relating to Maggi Hambling on the Well Furlong Book Shop. From there you may buy many of the titles from either or

by George Melly & Judith Collins

by Jennifer Ramkalawon

The artist's works & conversations with Andrew Lambirth
Reprint: 2014

by Maggi Hambling & James Cahill




Maggi Hambling

A list of galleries showing Hambling's works 

Other Artists

British painter (1909 - 1992)

British Artist (1922 - 2011)

British Artist (1860 - 1942)


The Tate has a number of Maggi Hambling's paintings

You can see fifty or so of Hambling's works online at the BBC 'Your Paintings' website.

Maggi Hambling's official website, supported by the artist.

A biography and a few sculptures.