Peregrine Heathcote (British, b. 1973)
Glory Days, 2016
oil on canvas, 63 x 94 3/8 in.
Peregrine Heathcote’s exquisite paintings conjure up a world of intoxicating glamour and intrigue. His scenes of beautiful women and debonair men set within an idealized historical context rich with art deco remind us of a time when travel was at the pinnacle of luxury. We are immediately drawn in to the scene of Glory Days, a monumental-sized painting, with a sense of adventure greeting us with the powerful Union Pacific passenger locomotives, a dirigible overhead, and luggage being unloaded from the classic gull-winged Mercedes-Benz 300 SL.
Heathcote’s paintings inspire viewers to narrate their own stories, and are the result of the many unique influences on the artist throughout his life. Born in London in 1973, Heathcote spent his childhood living in both Britain and Dubai, which exposed him to the lifestyle of international jetsetters. In London, he was the youngest student ever to study art at the prestigious Heatherly School of Fine Art. As the son of an antique dealer specializing in militaria, the young artist’s imagination flourished in his own home, surrounded by a constant influx of relics and antiques from various points in history. His maternal grandfather was a test pilot for the Royal Air Force and Peregrine would often stay with him in Wales listening to tales of adventures and secret missions flown over Europe. As a result of many years spent flying, his grandfather’s log-books are filled with detailed information including the plane types and flight destinations. Heathcote has often used these for inspiration to produce compositions with the same planes and romantically-linked couples embarking on or returning from various journeys, echoing the ones that filled his imagination from his grandfather’s stories.
In 1995, Peregrine graduated from the Florence Academy of Art, and since that time his artistic career has flourished. Members of the English nobility have commissioned portraits by Heathcote, and his works are collected by the screenplay writer and Oscar winner, Jillian Fellows. The BBC spotlighted Heathcote painting a portrait at the famous London Palladium and finished the program with him unveiling the piece at the Royal Academy. He has exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Academy, and Hampton Court, as well as at international exhibitions and art fairs.
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