The Family

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 Family

The Family, 1934
(aka The Peasants, dated 1935 in Roberts, Paintings and Drawings 1909–1964)
Oil on canvas, 51 cm x 43 cm

In ''33?', according to notes left by John Roberts, the Roberts family were offered the use for two or three weeks of the flat in Alicante of the brother of their friend Agustín de Irízar, lecturer in Spanish at Leeds University, whom they knew through Jacob Kramer. They initially aborted their trip when, arriving at Victoria station, they found the fare was £5 more than expected, but the next day the London rain persuaded them to go after all, and this picture was a result.
PROVENANCE: Lefevre Gallery > Leeds City Art Gallery (bought 1935)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Lefevre Gallery (1) 1935 ('The Family [is] the simplest and grandest of the compositions. This might pass for a Holy Family of the Renaissance. There is a certain sweet humour even in the fiendishness with which the child rejects the spoon and breaks the round outline of the design with spiky fingers, while the figures of father and mother are concentrated into a single expression of service and solicitude' – Philip Hendy, 'Art – William Roberts', London Mercury, Mar. 1935), Copenhagen 1956, Tate Gallery 1965

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