Patrick Heron was a figurative and abstract artist born in 1920 in Leeds but who lived in Cornwall for most of his life. His earlier work was more figurative and influenced by Braque and Matisse, in particular Heron described Matisse’s Red Studio as “by far and away the most influential single picture in my entire career”. From 1956, he became an abstract painter coinciding with his move to Zennor on the north coast of Cornwall, and in this same year he started at the St Ives School. In 1957 he started producing vertical and horizontal stripe paintings which recall the view of the sky and the sea visible from Eagles Nest hust outside St Ives. Following this period, his work evolved into a looser format with soft edged shapes of vibrant colours. 


Patrick Heron won the Grand Prize at the second John Moores exhibition in 1959 and a silver medal at the São Paulo Biennal in 1965. Among other exhibitions, seven of his works were included in the ‘St Ives’ exhibition at Tate Gallery in 1985. In 1977 he was created a CBE. He died in his beloved St Ives in 1999.