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Sir Peter Blake, R.A. (b. 1932)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more Property from the Collection of Fleur Cowles Fleur Cowles was born on 20 January 1908 to Morris Freidman and his wife Lena. Escaping her modest beginnings in New York, she started her career as a columnist for The World Telegram. This culminated in the launch of her highly individual and acclaimed Flair magazine; despite being short-lived in the 1950s, the magazine is now highly collectable. Flair established Fleur's status as a style icon with avant-garde ideas for fashion and the arts, displaying an array of cutting edge attractions such as pop-outs, textured papers, scents and pull-outs; each revolutionary at the time. Contributors to Flair amongst Fleur's distinguished friends included Salvador Dali, Lucian Freud and Sir Winston Churchill. Fleur socialised among the elite, eulogising of weekends away with Marilyn Monroe and having her portrait sketched by Picasso in the South of France. Her address book became full of the powerful and famous, from the monarchy to world-renowned designers and artists. After World War II, President Harry S. Truman appointed Fleur as a consultant to the Famine Emergency Committee, where she met Michael Cowles of the Cowles Publishing Empire; they married in December 1946, later divorcing. During their marriage, Fleur became instrumental in a redesign of Michael Cowles' Look magazine as associate editor. Fleur moved to England in 1955 and married Thomas Montague Meyer, with Cary Grant as their best man. An accomplished artist, completing over fifty one-man exhibitions, Fleur contributed her work to exhibitions abroad, organised by the Company of Goldsmiths in order to enhance the international market for British Jewellers. A selection of her designed jewellery will be sold at Christie's, King Street, on 1 December 2010. Her artwork also became widely known in the children's books, Tiger Flower and Lion and Blue. In a 1949 Time Magazine interview, Fleur summarised her multi-faceted life: 'I've worked hard, and I've made a fortune, and I did it in a man's world, but always, ruthlessly, and with a kind of cruel insistence, I have tried to keep feminine'. This philosophy of life continued for another sixty years. Fleur died in London in June 2009 at the age of 101.
Sir Peter Blake, R.A. (b. 1932)

Still Life of Apples

Details
Sir Peter Blake, R.A. (b. 1932)
Still Life of Apples
signed 'P BLAKE' (lower right)
oil on board
8 3/8 x 6 3/8 in. (21.2 x 16.2 cm.)
Painted in 1958.
Provenance
Commissioned by Fleur Cowles in 1958 for ( per apple).
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Peter Blake, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 1973, p. 11, no. 11, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Peter Blake, London, Tate Gallery, 1983, pp. 78-79, no. 17, illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, Peter Blake: A Retrospective, Liverpool, Tate Gallery, 2007, pp. 16, 201, illustrated.
Exhibited
Bristol, City Art Gallery, Peter Blake: Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, November - December 1969, no. 22.
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, British Council, Peter Blake, September - November 1973, no. 11: this exhibition travelled to Hamburg, Kunstverein, December 1973 - January 1974, no. 12; Arnhem, Gemeentemuseum, March - May 1974; and Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts.
London, Tate Gallery, Peter Blake, February - March 1983, no. 17: this exhibition travelled to Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, April - June 1983.
Liverpool, Tate Gallery, Peter Blake: A Retrospective, June - September 2007, not numbered: this exhibition travelled to Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes, March - June 2008.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Sale room notice
Please note that the provenance should read as follows and not as stated in the catalogue entry:

Commissioned by Fleur Cowles in 1958 for £30 (£10 per apple).

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Bernard Williams
Bernard Williams

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Lot Essay

As an unashamed populist and artist of the people, Blake has always taken pleasure, when asked by strangers what kinds of pictures he makes, in replying that he often subscribes to one of the most conventional categories in the history of painting, the still life. In this small oil on board he creates a picture of disarming and old-fashioned simplicity while shrewdly manifesting his skill as a realist painter and his command of colour, placement, light and the realization of three-dimensional form on a self-evidently two-dimensional surface.

We are very grateful to Marco Livingstone for preparing the catalogue entries for lots 123 and 124.
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