DEATH: 1912 ALMA~TADEMA
Born on 25 (24?) June 1704: Johann
Georg Platzer (or Plazer), Austrian painter and draftsman
who died on 10 December 1761.
— He came from a family of painters in South Tyrol, studying first with his stepfather Josef Anton Kessler [–1721] and then with his uncle Christoph Platzer, court painter in Passau. In 1724 he painted an altarpiece for the church of Saint Helena in Deutschnofen. Probably after 1726 he went to Vienna, where he enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste and became a friend of Franz Christoph Janneck. Perhaps because of a stroke that impeded his work, he returned to Saint Michael in Eppan by 1755.
Platzer produced a great number of small paintings, mostly on copper. He was the most important master of the conversation piece in 18th-century Austria, and his cultivated embourgeoisé public was fascinated by the virtuoso manner, lively colors and innumerable details of his compositions. According to the principles of decorum, he chose his models and style to suit the subject-matter: for histories and allegories he took his models from antiquity, the Renaissance and Italian and Flemish Baroque art, as in Samson’s Revenge. In his genre scenes and especially his conversation pieces, influences of the French Rococo and the Netherlandish cabinet painters are evident, while in his scenes of artists’ studios, such as Sculptor’s Workshop, his academic knowledge is revealed. The repeated use of architectural motifs in his work is derived from northern Italian quadratura painting. Although his work is eclectic, it has a characteristic personal touch that distinguishes it from the comparable, though calmer and less detailed work of Janneck.
— The Pleasures of the Seasons: Autumn (main detail) (877x1188pix, 134kb)
_ ZOOM to full picture (1730, 38x55cm; 1354x2000pix, 318kb)
— The Pleasures of the Seasons: Winter (main detail) (865x1230pix, 128kb)
_ ZOOM to full picture (1730, 38x55cm; 1363x2000pix, 276kb)
— The Pleasures of the Seasons: Summer (main detail) (862x1218pix, 119kb)
_ ZOOM to full picture (1730, 38x55cm; 1359x2000pix, 268kb)
— Latona Turning the Lycian Peasants into Frogs (1730, 21x30cm; 842x1166pix, 115kb)
Born on 25 June 1708: Pompeo-Girolamo
Batoni (or Battoni), Italian Rococo
era painter who died on 04 February 1787; specialized in Portraits.
[non bastoni, per piacere!]
He was the last great Italian personality in the history of painting at Rome. He carried out prestigious church commissions and painted numerous fine mythological canvases, many for eminent foreign patrons, but he is famous above all as a portraitist. After Mengs left Rome for Madrid in 1761 his preeminence in this field was unchallenged, and he was particularly favored by foreign visitors making the Grand Tour (an extensive journey to the Continent), whom he often portrayed in an antique setting. His style was a polished and learned distillation from the antique, the works of Raphael, academic French painting, and the teaching of his master Sebastiano Conca. His characterization is not profound, but it is usually vivid, and he presented his sitters with dignity. Batoni was also an outstanding draughtsman, his drawings after the antique being particularly memorable. He was curator of the papal collections and his house was a social, intellectual, and artistic centre, Winckelmann being among his friends.
The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena (1743) _ Batoni was a very cultured man who gained international fame at an early age. He was the first Italian artist consciously to work out a formal alternative to Rococo art and Venetian painting, which he felt to be outdated. He trained in Rome where he studied Raphael and classic Renaissance art. He quickly came up with a "reform" program for painting along controlled academic lines. He set out to provide a series of paintings that could be used as a model for religious art. In his paintings each figure is posed in a composed fashion. With the work of his rival Anton Raphael Mengs, Batoni's art marked the first beginnings of Neo-Classicism, in an urbane, highly polished, if very derivative manner. If we compare works on similar subjects (for example The Ecstasy of St. Francis by Piazetta), we can measure the cultural change that Batoni was proposing.The great sense of movement contained in compositions by artists in the first half of the century could also be seen in the speed with which they painted. This was now subjected to a rigorous check. Everything was controlled and expressed in impeccable form at the cost of losing much emotional intensity. After the middle of the century, this academic way became the main influence on painting in central Italy.
The Holy Family (1777, 226x150cm) _ One of the most important works of the artist. In the painting, the naturalistic, genre-like representations of Anne and Joseph are contrasted with the idealized portraits of Mary and the Child.
Sir Gregory Page-Turner (1768, 135x99cm) [he is not shown turning pages for a pianist, nor was that his occupation or that of any of his ancestors, as far as is known]
Susana and the Elders Diana and Cupid Achilles at the Court of Lycomedes
— Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron (1770, 226x297cm)
Sensuality (1747, 138x100cm) _ There is a companion-piece to this painting: Time Orders Old Age to Destroy Beauty. The two paintings, commissioned by Bartolomeo Talenti, are mentioned together in a letter of the artist.
Died on 25 June 1912: Lawrence
Alma-Tadema, Dutch English Pre-Raphaelite
painter and designer born on 08 January 1836 (first name also spelled Laurens,
Lorenz, or Lourens). Teacher from 1870 of Laura Theresa Epps [17 Apr 1852
– 15 Aug 1909] who became his second wife in 1871.
Alma-Tadema, the son of a Dutch notary, studied art at the Antwerp Academy under the Hendrik Leys. A visit to Italy in 1863 shifted Alma-Tadema's interest toward antiquity , and afterward he depicted imagery almost exclusively from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian sources. He became a British citizen in 1873 and was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1879. He was knighted in 1899.
— The son of a notary, Alma-Tadema demonstrated an early artistic ability. In 1852 he entered the Antwerp Academy, where he studied under Gustaf, Baron Wappers, and Nicaise de Keyser. An important influence at this time was Louis De Taye, Professor of Archaeology at the academy and a practicing artist. Alma-Tadema lived and worked with De Taye from 1857 to 1859 and was encouraged by him to depict subjects from the early history of France and Belgium. This taste for historical themes increased when Alma-Tadema entered Baron Henri Leys’s studio in 1859 and began assisting him with his monumental frescoes for the Antwerp Town Hall. While in Leys’s studio, Alma-Tadema produced several major paintings, for example The Education of the Children of Clovis (1861) and Venantius Fortunatus Reading his Poems to Radagonda (1862), which are characterized by their obscure Merovingian subject-matter, rather sombre coloring and close attention to detail.
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, the painter of "Victorians in togas", was one of the most successful artists of the XIX century. He was internationally famous and so immensely popular that scarcely a middle-class Victorian drawing room was without at least one print of Alma-Tadema's painting. Yet a few years after his death he was all but forgotten.
Laurens (later he changed to the more English Lawrence) Tadema was born in the small village of Dronrijp, about 5 km west of Leeuwarden, Friesland, Holland. He was the sixth child of Pieter Jiltes Tadema, a notary. It is unclear when and why he affixed the name Alma to his last name, probably it was the name of his godfather. His parents wanted him to become a lawyer and Laurens was enrolled at the gymnasium of Leeuwarden. Although Laurens was a good student, he always wanted to be an artist and, with great enthusiasm he tried to pursue both courses. This caused a significant decline of his health that his doctors even predicted he would die shortly. His mother decided to allow him to spend his remaining days doing what he enjoyed most, to paint. But happily after that he recovered completely. This marked the beginning of a new period of his life. In 1851, he went to Antwerp to study in the Antwerp Academy, where he was taught first by Gustave Wappers and then by Nicaise de Keyser. He left the Academy in 1856 and continued to study art and also took up the history of Germany, early France and Belgium under the guidance of Louis de Taye, the Professor of Archaeology at the Academy of Antwerp. Faust and Marguerite (1857) was painted as a result of these studies. In 1859 Alma-Tadema became a pupil of Hendrik Leys, joining his studio in Antwerp. In 1861, Tadema's picture The Education of the Children of Clovis (1868) was exhibited and became a success.
In 1862, Alma-Tadema left Leys's studio and started his own career. The period 1862-1870 is called his Continental period, he established himself as a significant contemporary European artist. His main works were of classical genre, dedicated to Ancient Egypt: An Egyptian Widow (1872) and Greek and Roman history: A Roman Family (1868), An Audience at Agrippa's (1876). In 1870, Alma-Tadema moved to England, where he was to spend the rest of his life. He became one of the most famous and highly paid artists of his time, acknowledged and rewarded by the fellow artists as well as by the governments of the European countries. In 1879, he was elected as a full member of the Royal Academy of Arts and in 1899 was knighted by Queen Victoria. Among his most famous works are An Apodyterium (1886), Spring (1894), The Coliseum (1896), The Baths of Caracalla (1899), Silver Favourites (1903), The Finding of Moses (1904), A Favourite Custom (1909).
Few artists enjoyed the success that the Dutch-born painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema achieved in the United Kingdom with his studies of semi-nudes, which were set against a background of daily life in ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt. Born in Dronryp, his art training began at the Antwerp Academy, and was completed with Baron Leys, an historical painter whose careful reconstructions of life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries made him the ideal teacher for a painter like Alma-Tadema, whose choice of subject-matter had always been similar. But it was left to Ernst Gambert, the Belgian international art dealer to realize that in Alma-Tadema he had found himself a first-class artist. After seeing his work, Gambert immediately commissioned forty-four paintings which were eventually shown in England, where they caused an instant sensation.
The Victorians had already been conditioned to accept nudes as an art form after Lord Leighton had exhibited his paintings in the 1860s. But Alma-Tadema's paintings went a step further. After painting a number of subjects in which his seminude females were merely decorative adjuncts to his vivid reconstructions of classical history, he overreached himself with his painting A Sculptor's Model (1877). This uncompromising, full-frontal nude of the model deeply offended the prudes and caused something of a furor, and from then Alma-Tadema confined himself to portraying his models semi-draped. His work became enormously popular in the United States, where it did much to forge Hollywood's conception of life in ancient times. His pictures were all numbered with Roman numerals, starting with No I when he was 15, and ending with CCCCVIII.
A genial and uncomplicated man, Alma-Tadema enjoyed his success and money, living in extravagant lifestyle at Townshend House in Tichfield Terrace, Regent's Park, which he redesigned to resemble a Pompeiian villa. Unfortunately, it was partially destroyed in 1874, when a barge carrying gunpowder on Regent's Canal exploded near the house. After the house was rebuilt, Alma-Tadema moved to a larger house in Saint John's Wood, which had once been owned by the French artist Tissot (1836-1902). Tissot had left England abruptly in 1882 after the tragic death of his mistress and muse, Kathleen Newton.
Alma-Tadema's life was an enormously successful one in which he was made an RA, knighted and showered with honors from many countries. By 1911, however, his popularity began to wane. Realizing that his work was becoming unfashionable he resigned from the Royal Academy committee, after serving on it for thirty-one years. In the following year he went to take the waters at Wiesbaden, Germany where he was suddenly taken ill and died on 25 June 1912. His body was brought back to England and interred in the crypt of Saint Paul's Cathedral (London), where it lies in the company of fellow artists, Millais, Holman Hunt and Lord Leighton. Like so many artists before him, the grim realities of World War I helped to finish off whatever popularity his work had enjoyed, and it is only recently that his reputation as a major Victorian artist has been restored.
Alma-Tadema's wife Laura was also a talented artist in her own right, as was their daughter Anna.
Alma-Tadema's paintings are often criticized as lacking emotion and spirituality. The Art Journal complained that there was 'no spirituality and little intellect in the faces of men and women in his world.' In the 1920s the Bloomsbury Group singled out Alma-Tadema's work as an illustration of all that was wrong with Victorian art, accusing him of wasting his technical skill on subjects so futile, pointless and superficial. However, Alma-Tadema's paintings, like most of his Victorian contemporaries, are now back in fashion again The Finding of Moses sold for £1.5 million in 1995.
Death of the Pharaoh's Firstborn Son (1872)
The Phyrric Dance (1869) _ The Pyrrhic Dance was a Spartan war dance, performed at the Spartan and Athenian games. This picture was Alma-Tadema's first picture to be shown at the Royal Academy. It was generally well received. The notable exception was the art critic and champion of the Pre-Raphaelites, John Ruskin, who complained that it was 'a detachment of beetles looking for dead rat'.
Sappho and Alcaeus (1881, 66x122cm) _ Sappho and Alcaeus were ancient Greek poets who lived in Mytilene on the Isle of Lesbos in the 7th century BC.
Anthony and Cleopatra (1883) _ In this picture Alma-Tadema envisions a meeting between Anthony and Cleopatra. Anthony was a Roman general; Cleopatra was the Queen of Egypt.
The Roses of Heliogabalus (1888, 132x214cm) _ Marcus Aurelius Antonius - better known by his adopted name of Heliogabalus or Elagabalus was one of the most debauched of all the Roman emperors. He ascended the throne in AD 218 and, according to Gibbon, 'abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury.' He attempted to introduce the cult of the oriental sun god of Emesa to Rome and ran an oriental style court. His elaborate banquets were said to have included the brains of 600 ostriches, powdered glass and camel dung. He was eventually murdered, at the age of eighteen (10 March 222), by the Praetorian Guard; his body dragged through the streets and flung in the River Tiber. Alma Tadema's painting depicts the emperor's most celebrated practical joke. One of his whims was to have a feast in which his entire court were smothered in a cascade of roses. At a given signal, a canopy above was unleashed, releasing tons of rose petals which suffocated the unwitting guests below. In the painting, Heliogabalus in pontifical robes watches the spectacle from the upper table with his mother and other favorites. Behind him is a statue (now in the Vatican) of Dionysos and a young faun, symbolic of the 'forbidden love' which numbered among the emperor's many excesses. The be-petalled guests look more annoyed than suffocated, although the oil sketch for the painting shows a more constricting view of the incident. Alma Tadema sold the painting to the MP Sir John Aird, for the then enormous sum of £4000. The artist had roses sent weekly from the French Riviera during the four winter months that he worked upon the picture. He was still painting highlights onto the canvas on Varnishing Day when the painting was exhibited at the RA in 1888. The rose petals littered the floor of his studio for many months afterwards.
A Dedication to Bacchus (1889) _ Bacchus was the Roman god of wine; the Greek god of wine was Dionysus.
Caracalla and Geta (1907, 123x154cm) _ Caracalla (188-217) was the elder of the two sons of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. He succeeded in AD 211 and is best-known for arranging the murder of his brother Geta after the two engaged in a power struggle in the months after their father's death. This painting depicts a gala performance in the Coliseum by Septimius Severus on the occasion of bestowing the title of Antonius Caesar on Caracalla.
A Favourite Custom (1909)
Born on 25 June 1932: Peter
Blake, English painter, printmaker and sculptor.
— Born in Dartford, Kent. From 1946 to 1951 he studied at Gravesend Technical College and School of Art, and from 1950 to 1956 at the Royal College of Art, London. From 1951 to 1953 he served in the Royal Air Force. He studied folk art in various European countries with a research award. From 1959 he did collages with pin-up photos, star images, posters, LP covers and trivial images. Between 1960 and 1962 he taught at St. Martin's School of Art, London, and from 1962 to 1964 at the Walthamstow School of Art. In 1961 he obtained First Prize in the John Moore Exhibition, Liverpool, for Self-Portrait with Badges. In 1963 he married Jann Haworth and travelled to Los Angeles to do drawings for The Sunday Times. From 1974 to 1976 he taught at the Royal College of Art, London. In 1969 he was given his first retrospective by the City Art Gallery in Bristol. He moved to Wellow, Avon, and continued to live there until 1974. In 1973 and 1974 he had retrospectives in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Brussels and Arnheim. He was made A.R.A. in 1974 and R.A. in 1981. In 1975 he and his wife Jann were founder members of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, who had their first exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1976. He became separated from Jann in 1981 and returned to London. In 1983 he was given a large retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery and at the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover.
— Blake studied at Gravesend Technical College and School of Art from 1946 to 1951, and from 1953 at the Royal College of Art, London, where he was awarded a First-Class Diploma in 1956. He then traveled through Europe for a year on a Leverhulme Research Award to study the popular and folk art that had already served him as a source of inspiration. While still a student Blake began producing paintings that openly testified to his love of popular entertainment and the ephemera of modern life, for example Children Reading Comics (1954.), and which were phrased in a faux-naïf style that owed something to the example of American realist painters such as Ben Shahn. In these works Blake displayed his nostalgia for dying traditions not only by his preference for circus imagery but also by artificially weathering the irregular wooden panels on which he was then painting. His respect for fairground art, barge painting, tattooing, commercial art, illustration and other forms of image-making rooted in folkloric traditions led him to produce some of the first works to which the term Pop art was later applied. His attitude to his source material was consistently that of the fan, to the extent that he literally wore his allegiances on his sleeve in Self-portrait with Badges (1961).
Blake's virtuosity as a draftsman was largely directed to naturalist and academic traditions, giving this side of his work an old-fashioned air tempered by the contemporaneity of his subject-matter. From the late 1950s, however, he also produced works far more radical in conception by eliminating the personal touch. Fine Art Bit (1959), Got a Girl (1961) and Toy Shop (1962) typify the collage paintings and constructions composed only of patterns of bright colour and of ready-made materials such as postcards, photographs, book illustrations, toys and other objects, and brutally presented without mediation. The acts of selection and retrieval in these works, generally made in alliance with references to pop music and mass entertainment, including Hollywood films, wrestling, pin-ups and strip-tease, are presented as equivalent to the painstaking recording of observations.
Blake's devotion to illustration and to Victorian art, clearly avowed in his watercolors for Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-glass (1971), which were also reproduced as screenprints, dominated his work between 1975 and 1979. At that time he was living in Wellow, near Bath, and painting with like-minded artists who styled themselves the Brotherhood of Ruralists. Blake's work of this period, on such 19th-century themes as fairy painting, was at its most effete and sentimental. A slow and painstaking technician, Blake demonstrated little stylistic development after this ruralist phase but continued to produce small-scale paintings and drawings of great refinement and popular appeal. To the general public, however, he remains best known as the designer of the record cover for Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles (1967), a fitting tribute to his genuine enthusiasm for the popular icons of his time.
— Self-Portrait with Badges (1961, 174x122cm; 1024x680pix, 43kb) _ Although closely identified with Pop art, Blake has always regarded himself as a realist painter in the realist tradition. Blake's capacity to bring traditional elements into a specifically modern context is evident in this self-portrait. In sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits, for example, it was customary to depict the subject with attributes. These were objects which gave a clue to the sitter's vocation, achievements or interests. Following this tradition, Blake depicts himself in denim jacket, jeans and baseball boots, which were ahead of fashion at the time. The array of badges and the fan magazine, also express personal enthusiasms.
Peter Blake was as interested in folk art as in pop, collecting "outsider" paintings, pub signs and ephemera when he started making paintings of instantly recognisable popular subjects as a student at the Royal College of Art in the 1950s. He anticipated the New York pop artists Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol, but London's Independent Group was already making intellectual pop art: Eduardo Paolozzi started making collages of American consumer magazines in the 1940s.
But Blake was very different from Independent Group artists such as Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton, with their science-fiction aesthetic and theoretical examination of consumer culture. He simply wanted to celebrate the new pop culture exploding in music and film and on TV. His feel for pop culture was shared by a number of RCA students, from his contemporaries Richard Smith and Joe Tilson to the younger David Hockney, who became stars of 1960s London.
This is a portrait of the artist as a provincial. It is a strangely weak and faltering image of self as flimsy and needing external confirmation. There is something comically vulnerable about Blake's need to wear quite so many badges, ally himself with quite so many causes and icons, and so fervently pledge his cultural allegiance to the United States. Almost everything he wears is distinctively of the US: baseball boots, jeans and denim jackets were only just starting to be disseminated worldwide.
The badges also seem to tell a story about losers. A small union flag is dwarfed by a big stars and stripes. Then there's a campaign badge for the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, a badge promoting Pepsi (second most celebrated US soft drink) and a huge badge of Elvis Presley, at this time seen as on the wane yet still celebrated romantically by artists such as Ray Johnson and Andy Warhol.
The flatness of the badges, sewn-on patches and the magazine is a joke about flatness in art, thinness in life. The images pinned to Blake's jacket exist on the same plane as the painting as if they belong here, in the painting, more than he does — an effect heightened by their bold colors, red, white and blue — in contrast to the dingy and broken British garden fence behind him, the fuzzy green trees, the drab ground he stands on. His own physical presence is dumpy and disproportionate, his head a bit big, his assumed cool unconvincing.
Blake plays on the contrast between the modern US and his loyalty to a British tradition of homely portraiture and landscape. British pop art came first, and yet the pop culture that fascinated it was of the US. The painting is acutely nostalgic as a portrait of the moment when American pop exploded in British imaginations. At the same time it could be a portrait of the dedicated follower of fashion in any time and place, seeking to assert identity through a slightly desperate display of insignia. Blake is a Chelsea pensioner of the pop revolution, chest laden with medals.
The power of this portrait comes from its sense of art history, lightly worn. Blake's self-portrait shares the fancy display of some of the self-portraits of Rembrandt, in which the artist tries on Turkish costumes and floppy hats. However, its full-frontal presentation of the artist's passively returned gaze especially recalls one of the greatest and strangest of all figurative paintings, the Gilles (1719, 185x150cm) of Jean-Antoine Watteau: a wan portrait of a player in costume, looking at us sadly in his clownish attire.
— Record cover for Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles (1967; 632x637pix, 74kb — ZOOM to 1251x1261pix, 151kb)
— But it isn't old!" Tweedledum cried, in a greater fury than ever. "It's new, I tell you - I bought it yesterday - my nice NEW RATTLE!" and his voice rose to a perfect scream (1970; 722x534pix, 26kb)
— On the Balcony (1957, 121x91cm) _ Blake made this painting while a student at the Royal College of Art. It introduces his interest in bringing together fine art and popular culture. Blake took his inspiration from a painting by the social realist artist Honoré Sharrer which shows poor workers holding great works of art. Here, the boy on the left holds Edouard Manet''s famous The Balcony, but there are twenty-six variations on this theme of ''coming out into the open'' elsewhere in the painting. It works as a painted collage, showing magazines, badges and famous photographs, as a way of introducing the characters in the scene.
— The Fine Art Bit (1959, 91x61cm) _ The central theme of this painting is the marriage of popular and fine art, an idea which Blake began to explore in On the Balcony. The horizontal stripes refer to everyday images, such as flags, street signs and commercial packaging. At the same time these stripes also allude to ‘hard edge’ painting, which was emerging in America at the time Blake was making this work. The heraldic nature of the stripes is contrasted with traditional ‘Fine Art’ through the postcards of paintings and sculpture by Old Masters, and of Indian Art, which Blake has collaged across the top of the painting.
— Tuesday (1961, 48x27cm) _ This painting is named after Tuesday Weld, a young screen actress who began her career in the early 1960s and became one of the sex symbols of the day. Blake selected her as the subject of this painting because of her unusual first name. Two photographs of her are included at the top of the painting. The three bands of colour in the lower section of the work can be seen as alluding to the contemporary hard edge abstract painting of such artists as Albers, Kelly and Noland.
— The First Real Target (1961, 54x49cm) _ The foundations of Pop Art in America were laid during the 1950s by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Like Blake, both these artists incorporated images taken from popular culture into a fine art context, and Blake has acknowledged their example. This work refers to Johns's work in particular. Whereas Johns had taken a familiar object - a target - and executed this motif on the canvas in a painterly style, Blake took this further by using a real archery target purchased from a sports shop. The work of art is consequently less like a painting and is even closer to the real world. Blake thus questions: is this 'the first real target'?
— The Toy Shop (1962, 157x194x34cm relief) _ In the mid-1950s Blake incorporated images from popular culture into his art by painting them with meticulous realism, as in On the Balcony. Later, in works such as Tuesday, he extended this sense of realism by collaging in actual photographs, postcards or printed ephemera. It was therefore a natural progression for him to use three-dimensional objects to stress the reality of the work even further. The Toy Shop was originally conceived both as a work of art and as a way of storing Blake's collection of toys, a selection which reflects Blake's interests and enthusiasms. The door and window were obtained from a demolition site
— Beach Boys (1964, 53x31cm)
— The Masked Zebra Kid (1965, 55x27cm) _ Blake was one of the leaders of British Pop Art, a movement which celebrated contemporary popular culture. This is one of a series of collages he made during the 1960s with pin-up photos, posters and other ephemeral images. Blake has long been a fan of wrestling and had been to watch an American wrestler called the Masked Zebra Kid fight several times. The autograph of the wrestler in the center of the painting is surrounded by photographs taken from a fan magazine.
— J.A. (1969)
— Well, this is grand!" said Alice. "I never expected I should be a Queen so soon." (1970)