Anthony Murphy has led the most varied of lives ; he was a successful actor while still at school and subsequently qualified as a barrister. But the strain of artistic talent runs strongly in his family, so it was natural for him to decide to express this. Murphy, either consciously or not, fits into the Irish and indeed the Anglo-Irish tradition. He is interested in people and their activities. He is interested in places. There is an element of toughness in his approach. He eschews the conventionally pretty. He is interested rather in structure and in the definition of form. Living near Carcassonne, he responds to the warmth of the south, to the very Frenchness of France : its pollarded trees and waving shutters; its age and yet its timelessness; the churches round which gnarled villages cluster, the bridges that so often imply why these were settled in the first place. The British have drawn and painted in France since the eighteenth century. But France is so varied that there is always something new to explore, something different to express. Murphy has both the intellectual astringency and the technical gift to do so.

Old Masters
Director, Christie’s London