The Boxing Match

Illustration © The Estate of John David Roberts. Reproduced with the permission of the William Roberts Society. Catalogue information based on the catalogue raisonné by David Cleall. For this and full details of the exhibitions cited, see the links below. Any auction prices quoted may not include all fees and taxes, such as VAT and Artist's Resale Right charges.

The Boxing Match

The Boxing Match (aka Boxing Scene, with Film Cameras), c.1925–7?
Oil on canvas, 36 cm x 41 cm

The unusual subject of multiple-camera filming of a boxing event from a suspended gantry suggests a connection to a pencil study exhibited under the title Boxing Scene, with Film Cameras at Reading in 1983 (no illustration of this undated drawing is available, and its whereabouts is unknown). The style of the figures would indicate a mid-1920s date, having some similarities with the style of figures in Roberts's 1926 Garden of Eden and Trafalgar Square. Filming of a boxing match from a gantry is shown towards the end of Alfred Hitchock's 1927 silent film The Ring ; but WR may have seen such filming for himself on visits to boxing matches.
PROVENANCE: With Anthony d'Offay (1972) > Erich Sommer > Christie's 9 June 2000 (£36,425) > private collection > Sotheby's 15 Nov. 2011 (£217,250) > Frank Cohen
EXHIBITION HISTORY: New English Art Club 1986, Chichester 2007 (not included in the catalogue), Fortnum & Mason 2016
Cf. Interval Before Round Ten 1919–20, Novices c.1921, Boxers 1914, Boxers 1919, Boxers c.1921, Outclassed 1922, The Champion c.1926, The Champion's Victory c.1926

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