Roger Fry 1866–1934
T01780 Still Life with T’ang Horse circa 1919–21
Canvas, 14 x 18 (35.5 x 46).
Presented by Mrs Pamela Diamand, 1973
Coll: The artist’s family; his daughter, Mrs Diamand.
Exh: The Minories, Colchester, March 1959 (30).
Mrs Pamela Diamand wrote (26 February 1974) that Fry had owned the T’ang horse as long as she could remember and that the standing pottery figure in T01780 is a Han lady which she thinks he bought around 1919. The horse can be seen in a photograph of the interior of 48 Bernard Street, London (where Fry lived 1926–34), reproduced in his Letters, 1972, Vol.11, Fig.86. The black vase and the paper flower in it were both made at Fry’s Omega Workshops, which were in operation 1913–20.MrsDiamand writes that T01780 was almost certainly painted in Fry’s studio at his house at 7 Dalmeny Avenue, London N7, where he lived from 1919 to 1926, and confirms that the colour, paint handling and paper flower point to a date early in that period. The background of rectilinear blocks of contrasting colours may be derived from the painted walls of Fry’s studio of which he wrote ‘my own studio is a kind of camouflage in ochre, black, ultramarine, burnt sienna and pink all done in great masses so as to get different grounds’ (11 March 1919, Letters, 1972, p.448). There is a further description of the decorations in Fry’s studio by Mrs Diamand in the Letters, p.60. Of the slender band of colour at the top left of the canvas, Mrs Diamand wrote in July 1974 that ‘the panel with stripes in background was almost certainly a piece of handpainted paper from the Omega’.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1972–1974, London 1975.