Amy Winehouse portrait acquired by National Portrait Gallery

Marlene Dumas' Amy-Blue goes on display from today

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The Independent Culture

The National Portrait Gallery in London has announced the acquisition of a portrait of late singer Amy Winehouse which will be displayed from today.

The oil painting by Marlene Dumas, Amy-Blue (pictured), uses a muted palette of blue, black, pink and white. No larger than an A4 sheet of paper, it is a closely-cropped rendition of the singer's face, honing in on her distinctive eye make-up and delicate nose and mouth.

The portrait was made from photographs shortly after the singer’s death in July 2011.

Amsterdam-based South African artist Dumas said she was moved to search through images of the singer on the internet after hearing of her death.

"Winehouse was a great musician," Dumas said, likening the singer's own description of being "given" a voice rather than learning to sing, to her own feelings about being an an artist.

The painting was bought by the NPG with support from the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art.

"Dumas’s liquid handling of paint carries tremendous emotive power," says Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

"Detail bleeds into and out of her work, directing and dispersing the gaze of the viewer. The rich, translucent blues of this portrait allude to Amy Winehouse’s musical influences as much as to the melancholy details of her career."