AN ENGLISH CUBIST
Taking the Oath
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.
Taking the Oath, 1920
Pencil, ink and wash
This is one of the few pictures by Roberts with overt political content, but its significance is obscure. It appears to show people being sworn into the 'Black and Tans', the paramilitary force specially recruited (from unemployed veterans among others) to suppress rebellion against British rule in Ireland. The map of Ireland on the wall is captioned 'British possessions marked red.' The men on the right are holding up their commission papers.
PROVENANCE: Victoria & Albert Museum (Circ.127-1964)
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