Bank Holiday in the Park

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Bank Holiday in the Park

Bank Holiday in the Park, 1923
This is assumed to be the 'large work' (Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 26 Apr. 1929) titled A London Park for a period in the late 1920s
Oil on canvas, 152.5 x 120 cm

'A bank-holiday scene on Primrose Hill' – Tate Gallery 1965 catalogue
PROVENANCE: E. Kennington £60 > returned to William Roberts, later sold by William Roberts £100 > Ernest Cooper > Christie's 3 Nov. 1967 (unsold at 1,200 guineas) > Sotheby's 22 Nov. 1972 (£8,000) > Anthony d'Offay > Simon Sainsbury, London
EXHIBITION HISTORY: London Group 1925, Leeds 1928 (as A London Park: 'wilful hideousness, but one cannot deny [its] power or that [it does] depict vividly the lowest types of Cockney humanity' – Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 4 Apr. 1928), Manchester 1928 (as A London Park, 200 gns), Eastbourne 1928 (as A London Park: 'a ghastly collection of ugly creatures' – Eastbourne Chronicle, 20 October 1928), Derby 1929 (as A London Park: 'a pattern of some aesthetic pleasantness, notwithstanding the repulsiveness of the types depicted' – Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 26 Apr. 1929), London Artists' Association (1) 1929 (as A London Park, 200 gns; '[W]hile [Roberts's] designs must appeal to connoisseurs of form, he can hardly fail to please and interest those who appreciate the human richness of taxicab men, omnibus conductors, potmen, and courting couples – of the world summarized in his "London Park"' – The Times, 18 June 1929), Pittsburgh 1929, St Louis 1930, London Artists’ Association (1) 1931 (100 gns), Hamburg 1932 (as Bank Holiday im Park), Tate Gallery 1964, Tate Gallery 1965, Worthing 1972, Royal Academy 1987, Stuttgart 1987
REPRODUCED: The Sphere, 20 June 1925 (captioned 'A Fine Specimen of the Nightmarish Art of To-day'). A detail of the picture was used on the cover of the Penguin edition of George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London in the 1960s and '70s.

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