Paul McCartney portraits shown together for first time

Paul McCartney portraits Image copyright The Artist's Estate
Image caption The portraits of Paul McCartney are among three painted by John Bratby

Two portraits of Paul McCartney painted in the Beatles' heyday in 1967 are on display together for the first time.

The oils are among a raft of pictures of celebrities painted by John Bratby, one of Britain's most acclaimed artists of the 1950s and 1960s.

He fell out of fashion in the 1970s and moved to Hastings in East Sussex.

The town's Jerwood Gallery has brought the paintings of McCartney together in the first retrospective exhibition of Bratby's work.

The gallery, in collaboration with Bratby's family, launched an appeal to owners of his work to submit them for the show.

More than 300 entries were submitted, including the portraits of McCartney owned by collectors in London and Plymouth.

In all, Bratby - who was known for his "kitchen sink realism" style - painted three portraits of McCartney. It is believed the musician himself owns the third.

Image copyright The Artist's Estate
Image caption Bratby's portrait of agony aunt Claire Rayner was contributed by her family
Image copyright The Artist's Estate
Image caption Michael Palin sat for John Bratby and was charged £700 for the portrait

Actor and comedian Michael Palin, who was invited to sit for Bratby in 1981, is among those who contributed portraits to the exhibition.

Palin said: "He wrote to me and said 'Come down to Hastings one day - it will only take an afternoon'.

"He worked very solidly for about three-and-a -alf hours then he said, 'The work is done - it's yours for £700'.

"I didn't like it at all but I paid the money.

"I really like it now and actually I am rather fond of his work."

Other paintings in the exhibition include still lifes, pop art and domestic scenes.

John Bratby: Everything But the Kitchen Sink Including the Kitchen Sink runs until 17 April.

Image copyright The Artist's Estate
Image caption Several self-portraits of John Bratby are on show at the Jerwood Gallery
Image copyright The Artist's Estate
Image caption Oscar-winning film director Lord Attenborough and his wife Sheila Sim was painted in 1967
Image copyright The Artist's Estate
Image caption Actor Tom Bell sat for Bratby in 1979 when he was performing at the Royal Court Theatre

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