Art: Poor Blighters

He thinks Picasso overrated, and British art underrated. Says British Painter-Critic Michael Ayrton: "If we in England have one virtue carried to excess, it is our deplorable modesty and sense of inferiority when discussing our own visual arts." As art critic for the weekly Spectator and other British publications, he has waged a hot one-man campaign to boost British art, and denounced Picasso, as "the archangel Lucifer of painting."

Ayrton also took up the brush himself to try to prove his point. At 19, he was earning good commissions in commercial art and stage design. At 21, he had his first show...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!