This artwork, Cumaean Sybil by Michael Ayrton, is currently for sale at Osborne Samuel.
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The sumptuous picture ‘Cumaean Sybil’ reinvigorated Michael Ayrton’s interest in landscape painting after a spell working on acrobatic figures in bronze-cast sculpture. This distinctive composition merges the figure and landscape the foreground of which is populated with goats and gauntly attired peasants recalling El Greco and early Picasso. The thrusting promontory and isthmus invites all manner of association creating metamorphic suggestions of bones or even a crucifix. The deep Mediterranean turquoises of the bay beneath azure Latin skies gives a classical timeless mood to this reposeful, if enigmatic, scene which was painted in his London studio a couple or so years later using large ink and wash drawings originally made on the spot.