James Boswell
Man in an Interior 1949

Artwork details

James Boswell 1906–1971
Man in an Interior
Date 1949
Medium Ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 441 x 298 mm
Acquisition Presented by Ruth Boswell, the artist's widow 1977
Not on display

Catalogue entry


Inscribed ‘Geroldswil. Aug. 1949/James Boswell’
Ink and watercolour on paper, 17 3/8 × 11 3/4 (44 × 29.7)
Presented by Ruth Boswell 1977

This drawing was made by Boswell while on holiday with his wife Betty and their daughter Sally in Switzerland in 1949. The man shown in the drawing is Fritz Reiss, who had married a girl, Rösly, that the Boswells had met while staying in Lugano in 1947. After the Reiss's marriage in 1949 they moved to Fritz Reiss's family house in Geroldswil, a small town near Zurich, and it was here that the Boswells were invited to stay. Betty Boswell told the compiler that he had been a very shy man, that he had collected stamps, and had died in about 1967.

This drawing may have come from a large sketch-book. Boswell always carried at least one sketch-book with him when travelling, either with large paper, normally 12 by 9in (he had these sketch-books made up), or pocket sized with small squared up paper. He worked very fast and very quietly, recording people, places and interior scenes, drawing vignettes of the life around him. Many of these were similar to, or were actually used as illustrations in Lilliput (of which he was art editor at this time) and other magazines, but many others express his enjoyment of drawing and are a record of places visited.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1976-8: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1979

About this artwork