Robert Eagle Fine Art

Walker - a dangerous man
John Bratby

A big picture in every way!

Bratby's portraits vary enormously in quality but this is without doubt one of the strongest. Walker was a dissolute young man who was very much into drugs and alcohol and - according to Bratby -  had a talent for inciting others to take up similar pursuits.

There is no shortage of ambiguity here. What, for instance, is Walker holding in his hand?  Is it a book - or a meat cleaver! 

Technically this is a very remarkable painting too. The impasto oil paint is sculpturally thick, with a very vigorous use of contrasting colours, especailly in the subject's face, where they clash in almost hallucinogenic fashion when viewed up close.

The painting comes with a provenance letter from the Bratby specialist and author, Jonathan Riley, relating how he discussed the painting and its subject with Bratby himself at the artist's home in Hastings.

Materials: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 101.5 x 127 cm
Frame: Good quality wood frame
Provenance: REFA acquisition
Stock ref: 1058
Price: £6500