William Roberts

Self-Portrait Wearing a Cap


Not on display

William Roberts 1895–1980
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 559 × 359 mm
frame: 695 × 503 × 75 mm
Purchased 1942

Display caption

Roberts developed a highly personal style of portraiture. His earliest surviving drawings are predominantly portraits, and include a self-portrait of about 1911. Roberts preferred to employ familiar models and regularly used himself, his wife Sarah and his only son, John. The format increasingly favoured by the artist was head and shoulders. This allowed him to concentrate on the face and exclude any surrounding details which might be distracting. In 'Self Portrait Wearing a Cap' Roberts depicts himself in a shirt, wearing braces, tie and a flat cap. He thus identified himself as a working man, a persona he projected in later self-portraits of the 1950s and 1960s.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

N05372 SELF-PORTRAIT c. 1928

Inscr. ‘Roberts.’ t.l.
Canvas, 22×14 1/8 (56×36).
Purchased from the Redfern Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1942.
Coll: Sir Cyril Kendall Butler until 1942.
Exh: London Artists' Association, Cooling Galleries, October–November 1931 (7), as ‘Portrait of the Artist wearing a Cap’; Redfern Gallery, July–August 1942 (33).
Repr: William Roberts, Paintings 1917–1958, 1960, p.35, as painted 1928.

[no further details]

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


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