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Peter Blake

Peter Blake

*  1932 Dartfort/Kent

The British painter and illustrator Peter Blake attended he Gravesend Technical College and School of Art between 1946 and 1951 and switched then to the Royal College of Art in London, which he left in 1956. His early work was dominated by two main subjects: fantastic scenes from the world of circus and naturalistic paintings with autobiographic elements. The combination of imitations of the popular image world of event posters with portraits was typical for Blake. Beside circus' figures, Blake often depicted children, which were shown e.g. reading comics. Both types of images were precursing in form and content for English Pop-Art. A Leverhulme-scholarship made it possible for Blake to travel through Europe and to become acquainted with contemporary artistic tendencies. Inspired by reproductions by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, he began to paint collage-like pictures of pop musicians and film stars as well as to execute assemblages from used materials, postcards and other things in 1959. Beside collages Blake also worked with the medium of imitation: painted collages, imitated pin-up walls and locker doors, enlarged, painted motives of postcards and pictorial adaptations of posters came into existence. He had his hugest success with his design for the cover of the Beatles' album ‚Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' (1967). In 1975 Blake belonged to the foundation members of the ‚Brotherhood of Ruralists'. Under the influence of this artist group and the rural surrounding of his domicile in Wellow on Avon, his image language changed. The members expected new artistic impulses and a moral renewal from life in the country. Like the Pre-Raffaelites they strove for an aesthetic penetration of all areas of life. Blake attended to subjects from childhood, from the world of fairytales and pixies, which he depicted realistically using Old Master techniques.