Artwork by William Goodridge Roberts,  Joan Reading
Thumbnail of Artwork by William Goodridge Roberts,  Joan Reading Thumbnail of Artwork by William Goodridge Roberts,  Joan Reading

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Goodridge Roberts
Joan Reading

pastel
signed lower right; Estate Inventory Number 2256 inscribed on the reverse
24 x 29 ins ( 61 x 73.7 cms )

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Provenance:
Collection of the artist’s family
This artwork hung prominently in the family home of Joan Roberts, wife of William Goodridge Roberts. The Roberts family collection consists of artwork from the painter’s estate as well as select work sourced through auction and private sale avenues, with an aim to assemble a collection of work that best represents the career of the artist.

The sitter in Goodridge Roberts’ “Joan Reading” is the artist’s second wife, Joan Roberts, whom he married in 1954. She is featured in many of Roberts’ figural studies, from nude oil paintings to pastel sketches such as this one. Joan’s candid, relaxed pose alludes
to a strong sense of intimacy in the picture, which is reinforced by our knowledge of the sitter’s relationship to the artist.
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Preview this item at:

Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703


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William Goodridge Roberts
(1904 - 1974) Canadian Group of Painters, RCA

Roberts was born in Barbados in 1904 to a prominent Canadian literary family. His father, Theodore, was a poet, novelist, and journalist. Roberts began his studies at Montreal's Ecole des Beaux-Arts but, encouraged by his art-critic aunt, Mary Fanton Roberts, he enrolled at New York's Art Students League. His New York schooling would prove to be a major influence on his career.

During the 1930s, Roberts lived, painted, and taught in Ontario. He was the very first artist-in-residence at Queens University in Kingston. Refusing to incorporate nationalist content into his work, Roberts became recognized for his modernist approach. In the 1940s, Roberts moved to Montreal and continued painting and teaching. He was admired by Quebec's francophone art community who saw in his work a reflection of the modernist figurative tradition from France, known in Montreal as "living art." His works were equally divided into the themes of landscapes, portraits and still lifes; all are textbook examples of each style. The artist's last major retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Canada in 1969. He died in January 1974.