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Creator:
John Bratby, 1928–1992, British
Title:

Jean on a Step-Ladder in the Kitchen

Former Title(s):

Jean on Step-Ladder in the Kitchen

Date:
1956
Medium:
Oil on masonite
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 47 x 52 inches (119.4 x 132.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Robert P. Bunkin and Florence Exler in memory of Leon K. Baum
Copyright Status:
© Estate of the Artist
Accession Number:
B1993.38
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
bottles | bra | broom | dartboards | darts | dogs (animals) | easel | genre subject | kitchen | ladder | pans | pots | saw | shelves | sweater | tools | trousers | women
Access:
On view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:1422
Export:
XML

John Bratby trained at the Royal College of Art in the early 1950s, where he was taught by Carel Weight. Upon graduating, Bratby found fame as the leading member of a group of painters who represented the gritty realities of postwar working-class British life. The press dubbed them the "kitchen sink school," and Bratby became a household name. Like members of the School of London, such as Francis Bacon, Bratby developed a reputation for hard living: he drank heavily and lived an unconventional life by the standards of the 1950s. He had a tempestuous marriage to Jean Cooke, a fellow painter who is pictured here clambering on a ladder in a disorderly kitchen. Bratby’s work fell quickly out of fashion in the 1960s when enthusiasm for American consumer culture spawned pop art, and Britain attempted to shed the burden of austerity by cultivating an image of Swinging London.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2020

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