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Mervyn Laurence Peake

(1911-1968), Artist and writer

Sitter in 1 portrait
Artist of 1 portrait
Born of British parents in China in 1911, Mervyn Peake was an acclaimed writer, artist, poet and illustrator. Peake's trademark in both his painting and writing is a whimsical streak of fantasy tinged with the macabre. In 1946 he was sent to Germany and made drawings at Belsen which profoundly influenced his later work. His posthumous reputation rests mainly on his Titus trilogy - Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950) and Titus Alone (1959). Peake suffered from Parkinson's disease and died before he could complete the full series. A fourth book in the series entitled Titus Awakes, written by Peake's widow Maeve Gilmore using detailed notes left by the author, was discovered in the attic of the family home by Peake's granddaughter.

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Mervyn Laurence Peake, by Mervyn Laurence Peake - NPG L191

Mervyn Laurence Peake

by Mervyn Laurence Peake
oil on canvas, 1932
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L191


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