© The Estate of Patrick Caulfield. All rights reserved, DACS 2018.


Patrick Caulfield (1936 – 2005)


55.9 X 83.8 CM
Accession number


Caulfield was born in London, but brought up in Bolton, Lancashire. After leaving school he worked in the design department of Crosse & Blackwell, (where one of his tasks was varnishing the chocolates on display). He studied at Chelsea School of Art and from 1960 at the Royal College of Art. Although associated with the rising stars of British pop art – David Hockney, Allen Jones and Peter Blake – Caulfield did not use the mass media images favoured by his fellow artists, but chose to re-work and ‘modernise’ the traditional themes of western art – the still life, the interior and the Mediterranean view. His deadpan delivery and use of commercial and graphic signs – thick black outlines and clear blocks of colour – underscore his sophisticated metropolitan sensibility. In The Hermit, a print made in the mid 1960s, he takes a scene common in western art history and with almost cartoonish wit turns into a highly original image. The hooded blue figure of the hermit (one of the few Caulfield works to incorporate a figure) stares out of the mouth of his cave into the bright yellow sunlight, as immobile as the rocks and stones that surround him.

Thresholds, British Council 2010