The first of its kind, Joseph Pike: The Happy Catholic Artist is a detailed biography of the popular artist of the same name. A master of the art of pencil drawing, Pike produced evocative sketches and illustrations that were commissioned by authors, architects and publishers, reproduced in books and on postcards, sold as prints and exhibited on the walls of the Royal Academy. When he died in 1956, the Catholic Herald referred to him as ‘a distinguished artist’, though until this biography, little has been written about his life and work. Aided by the artist’s family, the book also contains rare personal details and illustrations not found elsewhere.
Joseph Pike reveals the man behind the art, following the artist’s life and career through the decades and exploring how both were shaped by historical circumstances - such as two world wars - and developments in the publishing world and printing technology. The book also explores his devout Catholic side and how his religious life and contacts with leading figures in Catholic cultural life such as Ronald Knox affected his career.
As the author states: “This is the story of a remarkable artist and quiet, modest man, hugely admired by his contemporaries, whose contribution to 20th century British art deserves greater recognition.” The biography will appeal to readers interested in art and history, as well as those with an interest in Catholic religion and culture