Welcome to the world of Philip Colbert, a Neo-Pop Surrealist artist and graduate of St Andrews

The Death of Marat & the Birth of the Lobster exhibition explores Colbert’s world, his creativity and his philosophy. In it, he reworks Jacques-Louis David’s masterpiece showing the last moments of Jean-Paul Marat, a French Revolutionary who was murdered in his bath in 1793.

Colbert’s lobster alter-ego narrates and appears in his paintings. He says, “I became an artist when I became a lobster.”

Jacques-Louis David Marat’s ‘The Death of Marat’. Image courtesy of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

Philip Colbert sees his studies at St Andrews as central to his development as an artist. Colbert graduated in Philosophy in 2003. His studies helped him make sense of himself and the world around him. As well as Philosophy, classes in Art History allowed him to explore his love of art and introduced him to Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Marat for the first time. This moment sparked Colbert’s imagination.

Like Philip Colbert, Jean-Paul Marat is a St Andrews graduate. Marat received a medical degree from St Andrews in 1775. When the French Revolution began in 1789, he led a political group called the Jacobins, who fought against the monarchy and wanted a republic. Death came in 1793, when Charlotte Corday, who blamed him for the execution of thousands of people, murdered him in his bath.

Jacques-Louis David immortalised Marat’s final moments in his painting The Death of Marat. Nearly 230 years later, Colbert’s canvas reinterprets this dramatic event.


Dates: Sat 4 Apr – Sun 17 May, 2020
Location: Wardlaw Museum, University of St Andrews
Address: 7a The Scores, St Andrews, KY16 9AR
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri (11am–7pm), Sat & Sun (10am–5pm)
Entry is FREE!