Head of Woman [Cecilia Kramer]

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.

Head of Woman [Cecilia Kramer]

Head of Woman [Cecilia Kramer] (aka Head of Old Woman), detail from Jewish Melody, 1920–21
Oil on canvas, 33.7 cm x 28.5 cm

This portrait of William Roberts's mother-in-law, Cecilia Kramer (1870?–1947), appears to be a detail that has been cut from the large work Jewish Melody of 1920–21. According to the notes in the National Portrait Gallery 1984 catalogue (p. 18), Sarah Roberts remembered selling a portrait of Cecilia Kramer to Edward Marsh for 5, and was under the impression that the work was the portrait exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in 1984. However, it seems likely that it was in fact this work – known by the estate of Edward Marsh as Head of Old Woman – which was purchased by Edward Marsh, then being presented via the Contemporary Art Society to the Queensland Art Gallery in 1954. The work is incorrectly dated in the Queensland collection as having been created in 1957 (three years after it was acquired).
PROVENANCE: Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (acc. no. 1:0739).
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Venice 1932 (as Testa di vecchia donna)
Cf. Jewish Melody, 1920–21 and Cecilia Kramer 1925

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