MERVYN PEAKE – Catalogue of Painting, Drawings & Sketches

MERVYN PEAKE 1911 – 1968

I specialise in the works of Mervyn Peake, printed and original artwork, letters, etc.

This is my current stock [valid from July 2017]

In association with Mervyn Peake’s daughter, Clare, I can also offer a selection of drawings and sketches from her own collection. You can download the pdf catalogue for these HERE. Most of these were previously offered at higher prices, but they have been reduced for a limited period.

Bird. 1956. Black chalk, mounted on board. 22 x 12 cm. unsigned. From the collection of Judith Bland [Peake], Peake’s niece. This drawing is reproduced at page 109 of The Drawings of Mervyn Peake [Davis-Poynter, 1974]. That selection was made from Maeve Gilmore’s own collection and dated by her. I assume that it was subsequently sold, or offered as a gift to Judith. £2,750
House in the Country. 1930.
Oil on board. 30 x 35 cm.
An early painting, Peake was 19 years old when he painted this view and studying at the Royal Academy Schools where he experimented with various styles.
The brush strokes and palette are unmistakably Peake.
Unframed. From the collection of Peake’s niece, Judith Bland [Peake].
Shapes and Sounds. Original pencil drawing. Signed.
c. 1941.
A rare unused illustration for his first book of poems “Shapes and Sounds” 1941. Peake had originally suggested that the poems be accompanied by illustrations but the publishers baulked, either due to cost, or the wartime paper shortages. This is a highly finished version of the central motif used in the final dust wrapper design for the book.
Pencil 11 x 10 inches, framed and glazed. £2,250
Cobo Bay, Guernsey.
Oil on canvas, unframed. Signed and dated 1934.
24 x 20 inches
In 1934 whilst Peake was on Sark, he gained a reputation as a portrait artist and occasionally travelled to Guernsey to fulfil commissions. In 1934 he painted sisters, Barbara and Audrey Brown and it is from their house on Cobo Road that this landscape view was painted.
It is reproduced in G. Peter Winnington Mervyn Peake’s Vast Alchemies. Peter Owen, 2009. [revised illustrated edition] £4,500
Woman in a Raincoat. Original drawing.
c. 1945.
Pen and ink and ink wash. 13 x 8 inches, signed.
Adolf Hitler ‘Self Portrait’
c. 1940.
Ink wash, white water colour on blue paper. 11 x 8 inches, mounted, framed and glazed.
From Peake’s imaginary portfolio by the artist Hitler.
When his application to join the War Artists’ Advisory Commission was shelved “…he imagined a propaganda leaflet in the form of a portfolio of pictures by the artist Hitler. The titles were conventional, such as ‘Mother and Child’ or ‘Landscape with Figures’, but they depicted a woman mourning her murdered infant, or peasants being shot. Although the Ministry of Information was initially excited by the series, and proposed using the pamphlet in South America, nothing came of it in the end. Most of the twenty-five pictures went into the archives of the Public Record Office…” [Mervyn Peake; the Man and His Art, edited by G. Peter Winnington. 2006. p. 65]
It is obviously a preparatory drawing, showing Hitler as a little perplexed, or slightly mad, rather than the swivel-eyed loon depicted in the final finished image.
A rare and unusual example from Peake’s war work: he later worked for the propaganda department of the Ministry of Information which led to his series of drawings and paintings of Glassblowers at Chance Brothers of Smethwick.
As far as is known this is the only example from this series of drawings to remain in private hands.
Portrait of Vivien Leigh as Blanche Dubois in a Streetcar Named Desire. Original oil painting.
c. 1951.
Oil on board. c. 1951. signed. 11½ x 7¾ inches. Framed and glazed.
Peake first met Lawrence Olivier in Germany in 1945 and would use this friendly meeting as an introduction in 1950 when he attempted to persuade Olivier and his wife Vivien Leigh to produce and act in his play The Wit to Woo. According to Olivier, Leigh liked the play but his approaches came to nothing and they eventually gave upon it in 1952. During this period Vivien Leigh starred in Elia Kazan’s film of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire. This haunting portrayal won Leigh an Oscar for the role.
Although Peake produced a series of drawings of celebrities for The London Mercury, I have never previously seen an oil portrait of anyone other than family, friends and ‘characters’.


Robust Nude.
c. 1945.
Watercolour and ink wash. 38 x 22 cm. Small stain to bottom left hand corner. Framed and glazed.



4.75 x 6.5 inches.
Inscribed “For Judy”, additionally signed Peake.
From the collection of Peake’s niece, Judith Bland [Peake].
Sussex Coast?
4.75 x 6.5 inches.
Signed Mervyn Peake
Some damage and loss along the bottom edge, partially repaired.
From the collection of Peake’s niece, Judith Bland [Peake]
6.75 x 9.5 inches.
The Sussex coast?
Inscribed “For Judy from Uncle Mervyn” additionally signed Peake.
From the collection of Peake’s niece, Judith Bland [Peake].
Farm in the Rain.
April, 1931.
5 x 8 inches.
A little scratch on the surface with a tiny hole.
Probably in or near Burpham.
From the collection of Peake’s niece Judith Bland [Peake].