Several of Caulfield’s paintings from 1963 and 1964 make direct reference to ideas found in the carefully constructed still lifes of the Cubist painter Juan Gris. During this period Caulfield started to introduce exotic objects into his paintings. An art critic once described them as combining ‘decorative opulence with technical austerity’. The dagger and sheath in this image were drawn from life in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Still Life with Dagger, 1963
121.5 x 121.6 cm
Date of work
Household paint on hardboard. Purchased by Tate in 1976
English painter and printmaker, Patrick Caulfield studied at Chelsea School of Art and at the Royal College of Art, just one year below the students identified as the originators of pop art. In the early 1960s Caulfield's painting was characterised by flat images of objects against unmodulated areas of colour. Gradually his attention shifted to architectural elements. During the 1980s he again turned to a more stripped-down aesthetic, particularly in large paintings with a vivid sense of place.