Café Royal Scene

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.

Cafe Royal Scene

Café Royal Scene (aka Discussion in a Bar and Pimps in a Bar), c.1921
Pencil, ink and watercolour, 40.5 cm x 51 cm

Andrew Gibbon Williams describes this as a Café Royal scene with Augustus John central, seated, and Jacob Kramer in animated conversation with the two standing figures (Williams, William Roberts, p. 62, where the picture is titled Discussion in a Café). In his memoir 'The "Twenties"', Roberts noted that 'The Café Royal in Regent's Street [sic] was the favourite meeting place of the artist and bohemians, where they could sit the evening out sipping a mezzo-grande or an absinthe, and await the arrival of Augustus John and his two stalwarts, Ian Strang the etcher and Horace Cole the practical joker' (William Roberts, Five Posthumous Essays and Other Writings (Valencia, 1990), p. 136). A study for this, Pimps in a Bar, includes a bar counter and additional figures at the rear.

PROVENANCE : Lady Drogheda > ? > private collection, London

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