A sale of paintings by brilliant amateur artist Jack Rake at the Greenwich Gallery has raised more than £11,500 for the charity Freedom From Torture.
The pictures, covering more than 50 years and being exhibited for the first time, were donated by the artist’s son Mark, an eminent cancer specialist and long-time supporter of FFT who lives nearby.
Jack had always wanted to be a professional artist but in fact spent most of his long life as a practising doctor.
He was a close friend of acclaimed painter William Coldstream, whose circle included such giants of 20th century figurative art as Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Jacob Epstein and who – ironically – had always wanted to be a doctor.
Rake mastered an amazing range of styles, from beautiful Cezanne-like landscapes to minimalist views of London by way of flower paintings Cedric Morris would have been proud of and harrowing scenes of families torn apart, presumably by war, which could have come straight out of Edvard Munch’s imagination.
Yet despite the obvious inspirations, none of Rake’s work is ever just derivative – all the pictures pulsate with an inner voice that is uniquely his.
His wonderful paintings never had a public forum in his own lifetime. It is to the Greenwich Gallery’s eternal credit that he should finally have been given one now.