The evolution of Anthony Murphy from child actor to lawyer to luminous painter smacks of intelligent design. How could it have happened by chance ? His life proclaims purposeful progress. From birth in Argentina through English public school and Oxford, entry into the English bar, then Parisina man-about-town, he has emerged as a sublime painter, notably of the colour and landscapes of his chosen home in southwestern France.
Ireland must not be left out. Murphy is as acclaimed in Dublin as London. Some of his finest paintings evoke the sombre Galway hills and bogs around Lough Corrib and Carraigin, the castle restored by his father in an expression of family connections that go back for centuries. Following Oxford Murphy stayed in the castle for three years and there was strongly influenced by his uncle, the Irish poet Richard Murphy, who lived and worked in the west of Ireland, before, like his nephew, moving on.
Their mutual gifts are a reminder that the poet W.B. Yeats from nearby Sligo had a father and a brother who were painters, perhaps the reason why the poet had a highly visual conception of the power of word-pictures : “those images that yet/Fresh images beget”. The fresh images that Murphy has begotten at the age of fifty-one include Notting Hill, churches, huddled males, bright solitary females and, as always, glorious trees. All proclaim that the evolutionary march of this splendid painter is still moving forward.