William Roberts The Cinema 1920

Artwork details

William Roberts 1895–1980
The Cinema
Date 1920
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 914 x 762 mm
frame: 1048 x 902 x 68 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1965
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1910

Display caption

Before the First World War, Roberts made abstract paintings like his fellow Vorticists such as Wyndham Lewis. After the war, he produced a series of scenes of urban popular entertainment, such as this view of the inside of a cinema.Originally called The Silent Screen, it is like an updated version of the views of music hall performances painted by the French Impressionists and British artists like Walter Sickert. There is, perhaps, something significant in the contrast between the rich colouring of the audience and the monochrome, silent action on the screen that seems to hold them enthralled.

July 2007

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