David Bomberg



Not on display

David Bomberg 1890–1957
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 914 × 718 mm
Presented by the artist's wife and family 1952

Display caption

Bomberg was rejected by the War Artists Advisory Committee. In 1942 he was commissioned to make a painting of a bombstore, but the resulting work was too imaginative. Between 1939 and 1944 he applied unsuccessfully for over three hundred teaching-posts hoping that he would find employment sympathetic to his work as an artist. 'Flowers' belongs to a group of paintings which helped Bomberg to overcome his frustration. His wife Lilian brought home flowers to cheer him up and suggested he paint them. He then bought flowers from the early morning market at Covent Garden. The flower pictures share the explosive energy of the bombstore subjects and indicate Bomberg's renewed interest in painting.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

N06133 FLOWERS 1943
Inscr. ‘Bomberg 43’ b.r.
Canvas, 36×28 1/4 (91·5×72).
Presented by the artist's wife and family 1952.
Exh: London Group, October–November 1943 (148).
Repr: John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery, 1962, p.258.

Painted in 1943 at Queen's Gate Mews where the artist was then living.

Intended for presentation to the U.S.S.R. with other works from artists in 1943, but the scheme fell through (letter from Mrs Bomberg, 3 January 1953). Another picture entitled ‘Flowers 1943’ was lent by Mrs Bomberg to the Arts Council exhibition, 1958 (38).

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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