Peter Blake (b. 1932)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
Peter Blake (b. 1932)

Liberty Blake in a Kimono

Peter Blake (b. 1932)
Liberty Blake in a Kimono
titled '"Liberty Blake in a Kimono"' (lower left); signed and dated 'Peter Blake. 1971.' (lower right)
watercolour on paper
image: 19¾ x 12in. (50.3 x 30.5cm.)
sheet: 23½ x 15½in. (60 x 39.4cm.)
Executed in 1971
Waddington Galleries, London.
Anon. sale, Sotheby's London, 28 June 1984, lot 563.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
M. Vaizey, Peter Blake, London 1986, no. 10 (illustrated in colour, p. 18).
London, Waddington Galleries, Peter Blake, Watercolours and Drawings, 1972.
London, The Tate Gallery, Peter Blake, 1983, no. 161 (illustrated in colour, p. 62).
Liverpool, Tate Liverpool, Peter Blake: A Retrospective, 2007 (illustrated in colour, p. 96).
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.

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Louisa Robertson
Louisa Robertson

Lot Essay

Included in Peter Blake's 2007 retrospective at Tate Liverpool, the tender and meticulous painting Liberty Blake in a Kimono is a portrait of the artist's three year old daughter. Standing in front of a dark emerald green backdrop, Liberty stares out directly towards us, capturing our attention with the intensity of her gaze. Blake counterbalances this with the radiance of the young girl's face and the vivacity of her kimono, lavished with luxuriant detail as both combine to illuminate the surface of the work in a touching display of warmth and tenderness.

Painted in 1971, just after Blake moved from London to settle in the West Country, this painting captures his new found sense of personal and artistic freedom. This portrait projects an idealized view of childhood whilst retaining Blake's interest in exploring, what critics have called, the 'nostalgia of folk-pop.' Certainly this image of his eldest daughter recalls both the formal and aesthetic aspects of Victorian portraiture (particularly those of small children) yet the sparseness with which he depicts his daughter's image allows Liberty Blake in a Kimono to become a comment on the condition of modern childhood. Blake is one of the few artists who achieved both popular and critical success. Widely regarded as one of the founders of the Pop art movement (he famously designed the cover for The Beatles' 1967 Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album) Peter Blake is also well recognised for his portraits, which are included in European museum collections including the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and a comprehensive holding at the Tate Gallery in London. His portraits often borrow references from popular culture such as wrestlers, movie stars or musicians, but Liberty Blake in a Kimono is a rare example of a subject that is deeply personal for the artist himself.

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