William Roberts 1895-1980

Provenance

The London Artist’s Association, Nov.1931 no.41 

Sir David Scott Collection 


Literature

Andrew Gibbon Williams, William Roberts: An English Cubist (London: Lund Humphries, 2004)
This portrait is of the artist’s only child, his son John David, who was born on 6 June, 1919.

Robert’s painted John on several occasions and a portrait of 1927, when he was aged eight, is in the Cyfartha Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Merthyr Tydfil.

The present work appears to be a little later than the picture at Merthyr Tydfil. It is consistent with a date at around the end of the 20’s when John would have been ten or eleven years of age. He is dressed in a typical school uniform of that time with his heavy overcoat buttoned and wearing a red cap and striped tie.

As David Scott observed, ‘This wonderfully strong, direct work has a particularly solid composition. All the modelling is firm and definite. There is no vagueness or weakness anywhere. The boy is obviously a boy of character, who knows his own mind and intends to go far.