John Randall Bratby(1928-1992), Painter and writer; Editor-in-chief of Art Quarterly
Sitter in 25 portraits
Artist of 3 portraits
Bratby studied at the Royal College of Art (1951-54), and it was for his generation of RCA students that David Sylvester coined the phrase 'Kitchen Sink', to describe the realism of their art. In 1956 he was included in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and in 1957 won first prize in the Junior Section of the John Moores Liverpool exhibition. Bratby's vigorous realism with its debt to Van Gogh and Soutine went out of fashion in a time of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art in the 60s, during which he wrote the semi-autobiographical Breakdown (1960). In the 1970s he made it his task to paint portraits of 'names', from tycoons and businessmen to television stars. He became a Royal Academician in 1971.
by John Randall Bratby
oil on canvas, 1967
by Ida Kar
vintage bromide print, 1959
by Unknown photographer
gelatin silver print, 3 February 1959
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.