‘Sunrise, Orwell Estuary’

by Maggi Hambling 

19″ x 23.5″ (48 x 60cm) watercolour and gouache on paper, signed and dated 13-07-1990.

“There is nothing inhibited about the emergence of the summer sun in Maggi Hambling’s unfettered landscapes. Rather than rising hesitantly above the foliage on the edge of the Orwell Estuary, veiled by the mists which so often give the English countryside an early morning reticence, it bursts in the Suffolk sky like a bomb. The whole of nature is shaken by the sudden, eruptive advent of this vehement disc.”

Art critic Richard Cork, writing in the exhibition catalogue ‘MAGGI HAMBLING: Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours’ accompanying the artist’s solo exhibition of the same title at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 1987.


Maggi Hambling

Born Suffolk, 1945, Maggi Hambling is a household name in British art. She studied with Lett Haines and Cederic Morris and studied at Ipswich School of Art, Camberwell School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art. She was the First Artist in Residence at the National Gallery in 1980-81, and among other of her works, her portraits of George Melly and Max Wall hang in the National Portrait Gallery. Public collections holding her work include: British Museum, Tate Collection, National Gallery, London, and  Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon. The monograph MAGGI HAMBLING THE WORKS and conversations with Andrew Lambirth was published in 2006 (Unicorn Press). In 2010, Maggi Hambling was awarded a CBE. Her public sculpture Scallop, a monument to the composer Benjamin Britten, stands on Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk, and her main muse of recent years has been the North Sea, to great critical acclaim.

 ,.A close friend of George Melly, in 2009 George Always her memorial exhibition of paintings of the legendary jazz singer was shown at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and at National Portrait Gallery, London. In 2010, her solo show Maggi Hambling: The Wave was shown at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and her public sculpture The Brixton Heron was installed and unveiled above The Prince & Dex building, London SW9 in the centre of Brixton.


Created by Maggi Hambling for the High Altar at Winchester Cathedral, are a new set of tapestries created in 2013, the artist’s first, which were formally dedicated on 7 July 2013. Maggi Hambling collaborated with Ateliers Pinton – a French tapestry workshop in the Aubusson region which has worked with artists such as Picasso, Miro, Leger and Sutherland (for Coventry). MAGGI HAMBLING: WALL OF WATER, a solo show from May -July 2013 at the prestigious Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia  was very well received by public and press in Russia. Maggi Hambling’s exhibition ‘Walls of Water’ in at the National Callery, London, 26th Nov 2014 t0 15th Feb 2015. Maggi Hambling – Touch : works on paper was a major solo exhibition at the British Museum, London, 8 September 2016 – 29 January 2017.  Following recent articles and interviews including Vogue magazine (click: Vogue);  Maggi Hambling showed with Sarah Lucas in The Quick & The Dead at the Jerwood Gallery, and she has also just accepted a major public commission for a memorial sculpture commemorating Mary Wollstonecraft in north London.  in 2019, her major museum retrospective (her first solo museum exhibition in China) at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing toured to Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou. For details, click: For Beauty Is Nothing But A Thing Of Terror. In 2020, Maggi Hambling’s portrait of Andy Murray was unveiled and displayed at the National Portrait Gallery, London.