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The Painter Painting, oil on canvas, signed, 184 x 125cm

John Bratby

The Painter Painting., or Popperwell, Titled and Dated Jan 59. This is a marvellous painting by Bratby at the height of his powers of composition and technique and depicts some of his friends. Helen Lessore was a painter and gallery director of some distinction. When her husband died, Helen took control of the Beaux Arts Gallery in Bruton Street in London, where she promoted young and unknown artists later to become very famous - Bacon, Aitchison, Kossoff, Andrews, Auerbach and of course the Beaux Arts Quartet amongst whom was |John Bratby. Innes was the former leader of the Temperance Seven, a band that achieved considerable fame for a while. Jeremy Sandford, an Old Etonian, was a flamboyant character who achieved great fame when he wrote Cathy Come Home, which was turned into a film with Ken Loach as director. Nell Dunn was his wife. She too was a writer and daughter of a multi millionaire, who worked in a sweet factory to create her characters for her novels Up the Junction and Poor Cow. Sandford and Dunn soon split up. Both claimed to be socialists. Regrettably Popperwell remains incognito.

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