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.


Decapitations, c.1912?
Pen, ink and watercolour with scratching out, squared, 61 cm x 61 cm

On the left, three bearded figures in ankle-length tunics each hold up a severed bearded head. In the centre, a boy with a short sword in one hand gestures towards them with his other hand. An elderly bearded man bends down to him and also gestures towards the other three, apparently in anger; behind him a woman holds a baby, and to the right a figure with a sword in his right hand has his left hand in front of his lowered face. Perhaps produced in response to an Old Testament or mythical subject set by the Slade School Sketch Club.
PROVENANCE: Sir Cyril Butler > ? > Redfern Gallery > Sir Ralph Richardson > Sotheby's 15 May 1985 (as Mythical Subject, £10,000) > ? > Lord and Lady Irvine of Lairg
EXHIBITION HISTORY: New English Art Club 1925 (1), Empire Art Loan Exhibition (further details unknown) 1953, Barbican Art Gallery 1989

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