The Vorticists at the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel, Spring 1915

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.

The Vorticists at the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel: Spring, 1915

The Vorticists at the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel, Spring 1915, 1961–2
Oil on canvas, 183 cm x 213.5 cm

Before the First World War the restaurant of the Hôtel de la Tour Eiffel at 1 Percy Street, London W1, became a favourite haunt of Augustus John,Wyndham Lewis, Nancy Cunard and their literary friends. T. E. Hulme's Poet's Club, including the subsequent founders of Imagism, F. S. Flint and Ezra Pound, met there in 1910, and Wyndham Lewis launched the Vorticist magazine Blast there in 1914. Both Lewis and Roberts produced decorations for the restaurant, and Roberts describes it in his posthumously published memoir 'The "Twenties"'. This group portrait shows the Vorticists Cuthbert Hamilton, Ezra Pound, William Roberts, Wyndham Lewis, Frederick Etchells (holding the first issue of Blast), Edward Wadsworth, Jessie Dismoor and Helen Saunders, the waiter – Joe – and the Tour Eiffel's proprietor, Rudolph Stulik. Roberts commented on the evenings at the restaurant in his article 'Wyndham Lewis, the Vorticist' in The Listener on 21 March 1957: 'In my memory la cuisine Française and Vorticism are indissolubly linked.'
PROVENANCE: Purchased from the artist by the Tate Gallery (T00528, Chantrey purchase, 1962)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Royal Academy 1962, Hayward Gallery 1974, Royal Academy (2) 1977, Sheffield 1989, Venice 1995, Newcastle 2004, Rovereto 2012, Manchester 2017

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