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Monday, September 12, 2011

Searle's Artistic Heroes

Searle himself has been inspired by a wide array of artists, cartoonist and caricaturists. Searle's own private collection of art contains works by Caracci, Cruickshank, Grosz, Gillray,

There are a handful of key artists and cartoonists whose influence can be detected in his work.
Searle certainly owes a debt to contemporaries such as Andre Francois, Sempe and of course Saul Steinberg.
'Homage au Steinberg'

Through his 50s imprint Perpetua Searle published an academic volume on Toulouse Lautrec and later an illustrated hommage to the short statured ladies man.

In 1977 Searle made a series of studies after Watteau for a medallion design he was working on for the French Mint.

Perhaps Searle's greatest idol is of course Picasso.  He made a couple of Punch covers in a Picasso-esque style and even a series of portraits of Picasso in the style of other modern masters.
Punch 29th June 1960

Photographs of the originals in the Searle Archive, Hanover

Portrait of Picasso in the style of Henry Moore

Portrait of Picasso in the style of Graham Sutherland

Portrait of Picasso in the style of Augustus John

Portrait of Picasso in the style of John Bratby

Punch 24th October 1956

Searle seemed to take great delight in working in a Picasso-like fashion. Punch valued Searle's contribution such that it wouldn't surprise me if it was his idea to make these hommages to the greatest living painter of the time.
A Picasso-esque interpretation of John Everett Millais' 'The Boyhood of Raleigh'


Sir Edwin Landseer's 'Monarch of The Glen' 


Franz Hals' 'Laughing Cavalier'




Ever versatile Searle emulates Francis Bacon and L. S. Lowry for a Punch satirical 'Arts Takeover'


Riffing on Frans Hals' 'The Anatomy Lesson' for the 1955 Punch Almanack's 'Christmas Cards: An Advance Selection II'


'It was Christmas Day in the Workhouse' in the style of Graham Sutherland for the 1955 Punch Almanack




In this illustration for TV Guide again we see Searle using Picasso's motifs, in this case elements of 'Guernica'


See also Stephen Nadler's article on a 'triplicate' cartoon from The New Yorker featuring Searle


7 comments:

docnad said...

Great post, as always, Matt. Not only have you given us long-forgotten work from Punch never collected anywhere since, you've matched it up with the original artwork as well! (Are those in the Wilhelm Busch Museum?) Fantastic job.

Jamie Baker said...

Great post, Matt.

Matt J said...

Thanks fellas. Yes, the photos were taken when Uli & I spent 2 glorious afternoons digging through the Searle archive in Hannover.

Jamie Baker said...

By the way, I went back to that bookstore to get you that book Searle illustrated (about the BEAT culture in France) but it had been sold.

Matt J said...

Aw thanks for trying Jamie! I'll look it up on AbeBooks.

Corporaljones said...

The best British Graphic Designer that ever lived. Bless this man that lived through 4 years of unimaginable suffering and came out on top.

Corporaljones said...

The best British Graphic Designer that ever lived. Bless this man that lived through 4 years of unimaginable suffering and came out on top.