AN ENGLISH CUBIST




WILLIAM ROBERTS:

Elsie



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.


Elsie

Elsie (aka Portrait of a Young Woman), 1922–3
Oil on canvas, 50 cm x 40 cm

Correspondence between Roberts's son, John, and York City Art Gallery in 1989–90 about the gallery's Portrait of a Young Woman by WR suggests that the sitter was a farmer's daughter called Elsie, who helped look after the young Deirdre Knewstub (1922–2011) at Pett Level, the Sussex house of John Knewstub, founder of the Chenil Galleries in Chelsea, where in 1923 Roberts had his first one-man show. This picture is therefore probably Elsie, exhibited in that show. The catalogue of Roberts's 1965 retrospective states that his Country Scene (aka A Rustic Scene), there dated to 1922–3, was 'painted while staying with the Knewstubs at Pett Level in Sussex'.
PROVENANCE: Mayor Gallery > York City Art Gallery (1982), from where stolen in 1999 but since recovered
EXHIBITION HISTORY: Chenil Galleries 1923, Mayor Gallery 1990




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