Opening Saturday 26 June until September 2021


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 painting showing the last moments of Jean-Paul Marat, a French Revolutionary who was murdered in his bath in 1793.

This exhibition puts Philip Colbert’s imaginative world on display. Colbert reworks Jacques-Louis David’s iconic painting, ‘The Death of Marat’, which depicts the French Revolutionary philosopher who was murdered in his bath in 1793.

The artist’s lobster alter-ego narrates and appears in his paintings. According to Colbert, ‘I became an artist when I became a lobster’.

Jacques-Louis David’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 artistic development. His studies helped him make sense of himself and the world around him. Although he graduated with a degree in Philosophy in 2003, he also took classes in Art History which 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.

Jean-Paul Marat also graduated from St Andrews, receiving a medical degree in 1775. When the French Revolution began in 1789, he led a political group called the Jacobins, who wanted to depose the monarchy and form a republic. Charlotte Corday was also a revolutionary but sought political ends with less slaughter. She despised Marat for executing thousands of people. In 1793 she murdered him in his bath. 

Jacques-Louis David depicts the aftermath of the murder in his painting ‘The Death of Marat’. Nearly 230 years later, Colbert’s exhibition explores and reinterprets this dramatic event.


Dates: Saturday 26 June to September 2021
Location: Wardlaw Museum, University of St Andrews
Address: 7a The Scores, St Andrews, KY16 9AR
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11 am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 5pm.