Thursday, 22 October 2015

Maggi Hambling's drawings

I've been looking at a lot of paintings and drawings over the last few weeks (working my way through the art books at the library) and came across these lovely charcoal drawings of Henrietta Moraes by Maggi Hambling. Moraes died at the age of 67; the drawings were made during the last nine months of her life and just after she died. 

Hambling and Moraes (an alcoholic) were partners and their short relationship weathered Moraes's rapid decline including spells in a psychiatric hospital. It must have been an intense, tempestuous time; the drawings Hambling made of Moraes after death - from her dead form and later from memory - suggest a strength of the emotion and longing.

There's a great sensitivity in the drawings and a vibrancy that denies the fact that moraes was dying. I find them really quite moving.

Hambling M (2001) Maggi & Henrietta: drawings of Henrietta Moraes by Maggi Hambling, London: Bloomsbury

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