Born in 1932 in Dartford, Kent, Sir Peter Blake studied at Gravesend School of Art before being accepted into the Royal College of Art, London. He graduated in 1956, having completed his National Service, and received the Leverhulme Research Award to study popular art whilst travelling to Holland, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. Following this, Blake taught for a number of years in various London art schools, including St. Martins and the Royal College of Art, all the while working and exhibiting.
Blake's first one-man exhibition was held in 1962 at the Portal Gallery; solo shows followed at the Robert Fraser Gallery (1965) and at Leslie Waddington Prints (1969). Since the early '70s, his work has been exhibited regularly in one-man shows throughout the world, including the Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo (1988) and the Govinda Gallery, Washington D.C. (1992). His first Retrospective exhibition was held as early as 1969 at the City Art Gallery, Bristol. Subsequent Retrospectives were held in 1973 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, touring to Hamburg and Brussels and at the Tate Gallery (1983). In 1994 he was made the Third Associate Artist of the National Gallery, London. He was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1981, and was knighted in 2002. In 2007 the Tate Liverpool held a major retrospective of Peter Blake's work which toured to Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao in 2008.