John Bratby R.A.
(London 1928- Hastings 1992)
Patti in Gold Parka

CATEGORY: English Schools
DATE: 1991
SIZE: 570 x 385 mm. (22½ x 15¼ in.)
SIGNED: Signed and inscribed with the title and dates ‘John Bratby/ 6 & 7 April 1991/ Patti in Gold Parka’ in black pencil lower right corner, black pencil and mixed media oils on paper
PROVENANCE: Private collection, UK.

Condition: The pencil, mixed media oils and paper are in an excellent condition. The drawing is on double sized paper, folded in two and measures 570 x 762 mm (22 ½ x 30 in.) The remaining sides are not drawn on, one is inscribed in pencil ‘18’.

In 1974 Bratby met Patricia (Patti) Prime (b. 1931), an actress. They married on 4 May 1977. He did many portrait drawings and paintings of his second wife Patti, and it has been noted that his work took on a brighter more colourful look, indeed this drawing looks back to the Expressionist drawings of artists like Klimt and Schiele.

Bratby worked as a painter, writer and teacher. He studied at the Kingston College of Art (1948-50) and later at the Royal College of Art (1951-4), where he was awarded a bursary to travel in Italy. However he was not very stimulated by the art he saw there and subsequently preferred not to travel. His taste for domestic life in England is reflected in his works. He worked in a harsh realist style applying paint thickly in vibrant colours and portraying sometimes ugly and desperate faces.

It was Bratby’s concern with social realism that brought him into contact with Jack Smith, Edward Middleditch and Derrick Greaves, and these artists became the main exponents of critics dubbed the ‘the Kitchen Sink School’ however these artists (also sometimes known as the Beaux Arts Quartet) shared a desire to depict the banality of working class domestic environment. Bratby taught at the Carlisle College of Art (1956) and then the Royal College of Art, London (1957-8). Bratby was also a successful novelist.


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