Peter de Francia

Disparates (Romulus and Remus)

1974

On display at Tate Modern

Medium
Graphite and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 775 x 571 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1986
Reference
T04142

Display caption

The title ‘Disparates’, or ‘follies’, is borrowed from etchings made by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya in the early nineteenth century that reflected the violence and unsettled politics of the period through sinister allegories. De Francia’s depictions of cruelty and greed update Goya’s project for the twentieth century. Romulus and Remus reimagines the foundation myth of ancient Rome, showing contemporary military leaders suckled by a wolf. A Little Night Music puns on musical instruments and instruments of torture. He commented on this work, ‘terrible things happen and no one takes any notice.’

Gallery label, November 2015

Catalogue entry

Peter de Francia born 1921

T04142 Disparates (Romulus and Remus) 1974

Charcoal on paper 775 x 571 (30 1/2 x 221 1/2)
Inscribed ‘de Francia 74' b.l.
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Exh: Peter de Francia, New Art Centre, Sept.-Oct. 1976 (14)
Lit: Timothy Hyman, ‘The Drawings of Peter de Francia' in Peter de Francia, Painter and Professor, an Anthology, exh. cat., Camden Arts Centre 1987, p.13

See entry on T04140, which is a painting taken from another of the same series of ‘Disparates' drawings. Hyman, 1987, refers to this drawing as ‘Roman Apprentices', ‘... how the wolf dogs that once suckled Romulus and Remus gave pap in the 1920s to Mussolini's new Imperium'.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.136-7