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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.

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Eileen Joyce, by John Randall Bratby - NPG 5975

Eileen Joyce

by John Randall Bratby
charcoal, 1959
NPG 5975

Elspet Gray; Brian Rix, by John Randall Bratby - NPG 6159

Elspet Gray; Brian Rix

by John Randall Bratby
oil on canvas, 1967
NPG 6159

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23 August 2015, 22:39

The painter Jean Cooke was the artist's first wife: their son together David, also appears in a family portrait.

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