William Roberts

Portrait of a Man Lighting a Pipe

1948–9

Artist
William Roberts 1895–1980
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 514 x 397 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Ernest Cooper 1980
Reference
T03075

Not on display

Display caption

After the Second World War, Roberts increasingly withdrew from all social life and used himself and his wife as models, either separately or for double portraits. Unlike most of Roberts’s portraits, the self-portraits directly engage with the viewer, as can be seen in this work.

Attributes such as the pipe and neck scarf, are carefully selected and positioned. The artist’s wife said that in life Roberts neither smoked nor wore a scarf.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

T03075 PORTRAIT OF A MAN LIGHTING A PIPE 1948–9

Inscribed ‘Roberts’top right
Oil on canvas, 20 1/4 × 15 5/8 (51.4 × 40)
Presented by Ernest Cooper 1980
Exh: RA, April–August 1950 (357); on loan to Southampton Art Gallery 1967–72; Paintings and Drawings by William Roberts, RA from the Ernest Cooper Collection, Worthing Art Gallery, April–June 1972 (35), as ‘Self-Portrait of the Artist’

Mrs Sarah Roberts told the compiler that although this is a self-portrait, the artist never smoked or wore a scarf.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984