Chinese Acrobats, 1956
Peter De Francia (1921–2012)
Pen and ink, 35.5 x 25.5cm
Located in Basement near Dance Studios.
Peter de Francia was a British painter and writer on art, born at Beaulieu, France. He studied at the Brussels Academy, 1938-40 and then, after army service in the Second World War, at the Slade School. He taught at Morley College 1952-63 and at several art schools including the Royal College of Art where he was professor of painting 1973-86. Peter de Francia initially established his reputation in the 1950s with his powerful politically and socially engaged drawings and paintings and saw himself primarily, as a figurative artist. He wrote several books, including a major study of Fernand Léger and broadcast on radio and television. Although de Francia was neglected by the contemporary art establishment for many years, he lived to witness a revival of interest, with recent exhibitions at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and at the James Hyman Gallery.