William Roberts

Skipping (The Gutter)

1934–5

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
William Roberts 1895–1980
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1445 x 705 mm
frame: 1525 x 770 x 65 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1979
Reference
T02347

Display caption

This painting was originally part of a larger work entitled The Gutter. It formed the right side of the canvas, which was divided after the Second World War, having been exhibited in the USA and damaged. Roberts explained that he had made the unusually large picture after hearing that artists were being commissioned to produce work for a new Cunard or P&O ocean liner, and hoping to be considered for the project. The subject is characteristic of Roberts’s depictions of city life, especially working-class protagonists.

Gallery label, November 2016

Catalogue entry

T02347 SKIPPING (The Gutter) 1935

Inscribed ‘Roberts. 1936’ bottom right
Oil on canvas, 56 7/8 × 27 3/4 (144.5 × 70.5)
Purchased from Ernest Cooper (Grant-in-Aid) 1979
Prov: Ernest Cooper, Findon (purchased from the artist)
Exh: (‘The Gutter’) as for T.2346; (‘Skipping’) William Roberts ARA: Retrospective Exhibition, Tate Gallery, November–December 1965 (54, ‘The Gutter’ repr.); Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, January 1966 (54, ‘The Gutter’ repr.); Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, January–February 1966 (54, ‘The Gutter’ repr.); Paintings and Drawings by William Roberts, RA from the Ernest Cooper Collection, Worthing Art Gallery, April–June 1972 (22) as ‘The Gutter 11’
Repr: as for T02346

This was originally the right-hand section of ‘The Gutter’, of which the left- hand part is T02346. The signature and incorrect date 1936 were added when the picture was divided.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981

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