Fr : version française / En: english version

mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

Rush hour

William Roberts

Rush hour

Date : 1971
Size : 30 x 40 cm
Technique : graphite & gouache on paper
Location : private collection
Photo credit : © Gillian Jason Modern & Contemporary Art / Bridgeman Giraudon

View this work in the Urban transportation exhibition

The artist

The son of a carpenter, William Roberts was born in London in 1895. He trained in drawing at an early age, originally with the intention of becoming a poster artist. He was interested in Post-Impressionism and Cubism and left for Paris as soon as he finished his studies. Back in London, he became associated with Vorticism, an obscure and short-lived British art movement, situated somewhere between Cubism and Futurism. In 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Artillery and subsequently became official artist to the Canadian Army. One of his most notable paintings is The First German Gas Attack at Ypres, in a style akin to German Expressionism. After the war, he devoted himself to portraiture and depicting scenes from urban life as well as teaching. Though a member of the Royal Academy, he was by nature somewhat reclusive and withdrew from society, giving very few interviews. Towards the end of his life, his taut, powerful style was nonetheless influenced by Pop Art. He died in 1980.