Michael Ayrton

Michael Ayrton (20 February 1921 ? 17 November 1975) was an English artist and writer, known as a painter, printmaker and sculptor, and also as a critic, broadcaster and novelist. He was a stage and costume designer, working with John Minton on the 1942 John Gielgud production of Macbeth (at age 19), and a book designer and illustrator. His work is in several important collections including the Tate Gallery, London, National Portrait Gallery, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Fry Art Gallery, Essex. Beginning in 1961, Michael Ayrton wrote and created many works associated with the myths of the Minotaur and Daedalus, the legendary inventor and maze builder, including bronze sculpture and the pseudo-autobiographical novel "The Maze Maker" (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967). He also wrote and illustrated "Tittivulus Or The Verbiage Collector", an account of the efforts of a minor devil to collect idle words. He was the author of several non-fiction works on fine art, including "Aspects of British Art" (Collins, 1947). Ayrton was born Michael A. Gould in St Pancras, London, his parents being Gerald Gould and Barbara Ayrton; he took his mother's maiden name professionally. He died in 1975 at Hampstead, London.


Seated Minotaur with detail, 1971

Maze Maker Reconstructed, 1972

Pent, 1971

Minotaur Series, Full Grown, 1972

Minotaur Series, As Yearling, 1972

Minotaur Series, As Embryo, 1972

Couple, 1972

Fat Sentinal, 1962

Minotaur Rising, III, 1968

Summer Demeter, 1967

Mirror Maze, 1966

Icarus III, 1960-62