NARRATOR: Four children sit in single file on a bench, the girl on the left smoking a cigarette and her dress emblazoned with badges. Behind them, on a pristine green lawn, another child stands on a table, a copy of Romeo and Juliet in her hand. Children were a recurrent theme of Peter Blake’s early work, as was the idea of collage. He recreates the effect of collage here through ‘trompe l’oeil’ painting, literally ‘painting that fools the eye’. He was still a student when he made this work. PETER BLAKE: This one was from 19… it was the summer of 1955, and at the Royal College of Art, between your second year and third year, you had to do a set subject, so I chose ‘On the Balcony’, and then collected as many versions of it as I could. I think there are twenty-six different versions. So that was painted at the Royal College. NARRATOR: If you look at the images overlaid onto the children, you’ll see that they’re all balcony scenes; they range from a painting by the nineteenth-century French painter Manet on the far left, to a photograph of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the centre, to a cover of Life magazine on the right. The introduction of popular imagery into high art was typical of Pop Art. This movement emerged in the mid-1950s, and in Britain, Peter Blake was at its helm.