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Before the First World War William Roberts was a Vorticist, producing almost abstract paintings that evoked the energy of the modern city. After serving in the war he painted scenes of everyday life. Typically, his figures are reduced to simple forms, so that their bodies and limbs are tubular and their faces almost caricatures.Having painted scenes of leisure and pleasure such as restaurants and cinemas, Roberts took an increasingly wry and humorous look at human behaviour. This image of women gossiping while another cleans her front step and men look on would have been a typical street scene.

July 2007