Primrose Hill + studies

Illustrations © 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 Rings

The Rings – study for Primrose Hill, c.1930
Black chalk, 21.0 cm x 16.5 cm

PROVENANCE: Estate of John David Roberts (held in Tate store, 2014)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Gillian Jason Gallery 1993


The Boys' Gym – study for Primrose Hill), c.1930
Pencil, 38.6 cm x 56.2 cm

PROVENANCE: Lord Kenyon > National Museum of Wales, Cardiff>br> EXHIBITION HISTORY: London Artists’ Association (3) 1931 (15 gns)


Primrose Hill -- study

Primrose Hill – study (aka Boys' Gym), c.1930
(dated as 1934 in Anthony d'Offay Gallery (1) 1969 and Hamet Gallery 1971)
Pencil and watercolour, 22.9 cm x 30.0 cm

PROVENANCE: Sotheby's 14 Nov. 1984 (estimate £1,500–£2,000; unsold)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: London Artists' Association (3) 1931 (as Boys' Gym: colour study, 10 gns), Anthony d'Offay Gallery (1) 1969 (as Primrose Hill), Hamet Gallery 1971 (as Primrose Hill)



Playground – study for Primrose Hill, c.1930
Pencil, colour wash and watercolour, 38 cm x 56 cm

PROVENANCE: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (bought 1956)


Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill, c.1930
Oil on canvas, 105.5 cm x 132 cm

The subject is the outdoor gymnasium built on Primrose Hill, in north London, in 1847, and still extant.
PROVENANCE: Marlborough Fine Art > ? > Ivor Braka > Frank Cohen (2000) > Christie's 30 June 2016 (£818,500)
EXHIBITION HISTORY: London Artists' Association (3) 1931 (150 gns; 'Now, as may be seen in the most excellent painting of "Primrose Hill," more specifically the boys' gymnasium on that eminence, Mr. Roberts is working in colour. The mauves and purples, delightful in themselves, enter into the spirit of the spiral movement of the figures round the vertical system of the apparatus and railings. The formal movements and the colour progressions are at one, so that you think of the general colour of the picture and not of its individual colours – though you cannot but admire the judgment with which the blue of the hill is summed up "sforzando" in the boy's figure at the bottom by the railings' – The Times, 30 Oct. 1931)

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