Babe Rainbow thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514a , Case RK, Shelf 20, Box R

Babe Rainbow

Print
1968 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

'Babe Rainbow, a fictitious lady wrestler, is the most recent in a line of wrestlers I have painted', said Peter Blake. 'These include Irish Lord X, Doktor K Tortur, Kamikaze and Les Orchidées Noires. She is twenty-three years old and has broken her nose in the ring. She was born in New Cross, London and wrestles mainly in Europe and the USA as there have only been a few contests between lady wrestlers in London. She is the daughter of the notorious Doktor K Tortur.'

Born in Kent, Blake trained at the Royal College of Art. As a student he became fascinated with magazine covers, fairground art and similar popular ephemera. He utilised such material in collages and became a leading figure in British 'Pop' art of the 1960s. Blake's most famous work is the cover design for the Beatles LP Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. 'Babe Rainbow' was commissioned in an edition of 1000 by Dodo Designs in 1968. Unusually for the time it was printed on tin.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
screen-print on tinplate.
Brief Description
'Babe Rainbow' by Peter Blake; screen-print on tinplate; 1968
Physical Description
Image of a woman wearing a white bikini, a headress with a rainbow motif, a necklace featuring the Union Jack and 'England', a belt featuring the St George's Cross and 'London', and a belt with various badges including one inscribed with 'In memory of the good old days 1788', one with a face in profile, one with a ship 'RM.S Berencaria', and one in the shape of a flower. Underneath the image are the words 'Babe Rainbow'. The border of the image is a rainbow. Printed on tinplate.
Dimensions
  • Height: 664mm
  • Width: 434mm
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Babe Rainbow by Peter Blake 1968 / Commissioned and distrubuted by Dodo Designs, 185 Westbourne / Grove, London, W.11. / "Babe Rainbow, a fictitious lady wrestler, is the most recent in a / line of wrestlers I have painted", said Peter Blake. "These include / Irish Lord X, Doktor K Tortur, Kamikaze and Les Orchidées Noires." / "She is twenty-three years old and has broken her nose in the ring. She was born in New Cross, London and wrestles mainly in / Europe and the USA as there have only been a few contests / between lady wrestlers in London. She is the daughter of the / notorious Doktor K Tortur. / Babe Rainbow was commissioned by Dodo Designs and is about / the twelth painting in a series of wrestlers living in the ficticious / world of Peter Blake. It is the first painting ever to be commis- / sioned for reproduction as a picture on tin. / Peter Blake's work includes magazine illustrations and many / designs for book jackets. He designed the record cover for the / Sergeant Pepper Album, and apart from painting the Beatles, has / just completed The Monarch of the Glen, a painting commissioned / by Paul McCartney. He is at present working on a painting for / "Mr Chow" a Chinese Restaurant in London. He was one of / twelve well-known painters recently commissioned by Lentheric / to paint his impression of the most beautiful woman in the world / to inspire a new Lentheric perfume. / He was born in Dartford, Kent in 1932 and studied at the Royal / College of Art, London where he now teaches. He is also visiting / lecturer at Colchester and Walthamstow Schools of Art. In 1964 / he was commissioned to execute three murals for the Shakespeare / Exhibition at Stratford on Avon. / Since 1960 Peter Blake has been represented in over 30 exhibitions / in the USA (New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Minneapolis), / France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and the UK. His paintings / are also exhibited in Public Collections at The Museum of Modern / Art New York, The Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, / Baltimore Museum of Fine Art, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, / Trinity College Cambridge, The British Council, City Art Gallery / Carlisle, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Arts Council / of Great Britain. / Made in England. (Printed on the back on the object)
  • BABE / RAINBOW (Text of poster)
Credit line
Purchased through the Julie and Robert Breckman Print Fund
Production
Attribution note: of around 1000
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
'Babe Rainbow, a fictitious lady wrestler, is the most recent in a line of wrestlers I have painted', said Peter Blake. 'These include Irish Lord X, Doktor K Tortur, Kamikaze and Les Orchidées Noires. She is twenty-three years old and has broken her nose in the ring. She was born in New Cross, London and wrestles mainly in Europe and the USA as there have only been a few contests between lady wrestlers in London. She is the daughter of the notorious Doktor K Tortur.'



Born in Kent, Blake trained at the Royal College of Art. As a student he became fascinated with magazine covers, fairground art and similar popular ephemera. He utilised such material in collages and became a leading figure in British 'Pop' art of the 1960s. Blake's most famous work is the cover design for the Beatles LP Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. 'Babe Rainbow' was commissioned in an edition of 1000 by Dodo Designs in 1968. Unusually for the time it was printed on tin.
Collection
Accession Number
E.35-2006

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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