Sir Lawrence Gowing
Mrs Roberts 1944

Artwork details

Sir Lawrence Gowing 1918–1991
Mrs Roberts
Date 1944
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 406 x 508 mm
frame: 560 x 660 x 95 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1945
Not on display

Display caption

A student at the Euston Road School, Lawrence Gowing attended throughout its existence. This later portrait of Mrs Ellen Roberts, the Gowings' cleaning lady, was painted at their home in Paultons Square, Chelsea. In 1945 the Daily Sketch reported the sitter's comments: 'It's me, isn't it? Perhaps in another hundred years I will be hanging in a national museum'. In 1983 Sir Lawrence described Mrs Roberts as 'gaunt and gracious'. He also recalled how, when studying the work of Masaccio at that time, he 'realised that not only the transverse lighting but the unidealised sympathy and the visual authenticity that I prized in painting were all his invention'.

August 2004

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