'Portrait of Brigitte Bardot' by Peter Robert Keil (1983)
'Portrait of Brigitte Bardot', oil on canvas, by Peter Robert Keil (1983). One of the best known sex symbols of the late 1950s and 60s, she was famous for portraying sexually emancipated personae with hedonistic lifestyles. For the Italian movie 'Mio Figlio Nerone' (1956) Bardot was asked by the director to appear as a blonde. Rather than wear a wig to hide her naturally brunette hair she decided to dye her hair. She was so pleased with the results that she decided to retain the hair colour to which she is famously associated.
Unusually, the artist chose to paint her portrait in 1983 making one wonder why he was so inspired. The answer may be an attempted suicide that year. In September 1983, on her 49th birthday, Bardot took an overdose of sleeping pills or tranquillisers with red wine. She had to be rushed to the hospital where her life was saved after having her stomach pumped. Today Bardot is best known for her fierce support of animal protection.
In this work, Keil uses intense-to-lurid colours which have become characteristic of his painting style. The only constraints here are the boundaries of the canvas. The work is in good overall condition and has been newly framed in a tray. The artist signed and dated the work in the lower right hand. Please enjoy the many photos accompanying the listing. Upon request, a video may be provided.
About the Artist: Peter Robert Keil (born 1942) was the son of an artist blacksmith whom he lost early in his childhood. His mother, also artistically inclined, took her son and struggled her way to West Berlin where they settled. This is where Peter Robert Keil discovered his interest in painting – particularly in expressionist artists and in Picasso's work in particular. From 1954 on, the East Berlin-based painter, Otto Nagel became his mentor and taught him first craft skills and painting techniques. In 1954, he began his traineeship as an artist metalworker and between 1959 and 1961, he studied at the University of Fine Art in Berlin. During his time in Mallorca, he met with Joan Miró in his studio several times. From the early 60s on, Keil established studios in Paris, London, Berlin and in the US. Today he mainly lives and works in Zimmerau (Bavaria, Germany), Berlin and the United States.
In the beginnings of his artistic career, Keil's style was influenced by German expressionism. In the works from his early Berlin years, he mainly focused on typical big city settings and characters on the fringes of society. However, his style changed visibly at the beginning of the 60s when he lived in Paris for a while and emerged in the city's nightlife. Keil increasingly parted with his realistic approach and developed a new, much more spontaneous and dynamic painting style which he developed further during his years in London and finally during his time as one of the "Berliner Neue Wilden" (Berlin Fauvists) at the beginning of the 80s. Since then, the use of intensive to lurid colours and the absence of realistic representation have become characteristic of his painting style. His emotional way of painting is mainly driven by a desire for freedom from social constraints and conventions. In the past 50 years, he has created numerous large and small scale paintings in oil and mixed media on canvas but also some sculptures in wood and steel and a great number of majolicas.
Dimensions with Frame:
H 67.5 cm / 26.6"
W 48 cm / 18.9"
Dimensions without Frame:
H 65.5 cm / 25.8"
W 46 cm / 18.1"