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A smiling man in a hat, overcoat, shirt and tie sits on a dark red upholstered seat at a table in a bar, squeezing a lemon into a glass of water on a circular stainless steel tray. On the tray there is also another lemon, three sugar cubes and a plate with a bread roll and butter knife. A newspaper is propped up against a cut-glass water carafe.
The artist recalls of this picture: ‘It was painted from my studio assistant in London, shortly before I came to Glasgow. The title fitted this entertaining Cockney man, who was full of wit and entertainment.’
The painting was exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London in 1924. Reviewing the exhibition, The Times took exception to the looseness of the brushwork, writing on 9th October 1924: ‘[…] the obvious comment is that the young man squeezing a lemon into a tumbler needn't have been so sloppy about it. As a small sketch he might have been welcome.’ It was also exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1925 (no. 398) and Royal Scottish Academy in 1932 (no. 394).
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC)
oil on canvas
H 101.6 x W 76.2 cm
gift from the artist, 1963