William Roberts
The Return of Ulysses 1913

Artwork details

William Roberts 1895–1980
The Return of Ulysses
Date 1913
Medium Chalk and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 305 x 457 mm
frame: 472 x 623 x 28 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1966
Not on display

Display caption

This is one of two known studies, both in the Tate Gallery, made by Roberts for his painting 'The Return of Ulysses', 1913. The painting is now in Nottingham Castle Museum. The figures in this work are more stylised than in the painting and the artist's use of colour is more emphatic. However, the artist's development of an underlying geometric composition is similar. Both the study and the painting have an exaggerated angularity, jagged shadows, and thrusting diagonal lines spearheaded by the table tops. This approach to picture-making characterised what was later to be called Vorticism. Roberts joined Wyndham Lewis at the Rebel Art Centre in 1914 and signed the Vorticist Manifesto, published in 'BLAST' No.1.

September 2004

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