William Roberts

The Diners


In Tate Modern

William Roberts 1895–1980
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1524 × 832 mm
frame: 1590 × 905 × 59 mm
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1959

Display caption

This is one of three decorative ‘panels’ commissioned for the ‘Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel’ in London. All three panels hung in the first floor lobby leading to two private dining rooms, one of which was known as the ‘Vorticist Room’, named after the group of avant garde artists engaged in expressing the dynamic modern world who congregated there.

Gallery label, February 2016

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Catalogue entry

T00230 THE DINERS 1919

Not inscribed.
Canvas, 60×32 3/4 (152×83·5).
Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1959.
Coll: Commissioned from the artist by M. Rudolph Stulik, proprietor of the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel, 1919; sold c. 1937; purchased from a private dealer by the Leicester Galleries 1958; purchased from the Leicester Galleries by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1959.
Exh: New Year Exhibition, Leicester Galleries, January 1959 (82).
Lit: William Roberts, Some Early Abstract and Cubist Work 1913–1920, 1957, pp.7, 15, as painted 1920.
Repr: William Roberts, Paintings 1917–1958, 1960, p.18; John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery, 1962, p.255.

Painted in the autumn of 1919 (letter from the artist, 7 February 1959), this formed one of three decorative ‘panels’ for an ante-room in the Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel, 1 Percy Street, off the Tottenham Court Road. Oliver Brown, of the Leicester Galleries, thought that these paintings hung, to the best of his recollection, in the room leading to one of the private dining-rooms known as the ‘Vorticist Room’, which contained three abstract decorations by Wyndham Lewis executed c. 1915. M. Stulik sold the restaurant in 1937 and until recently all the decorations were believed to have been destroyed. The restaurant is now The White Tower Restaurant and nothing remains there of the old decorative schemes.

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


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