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Image credit: Tate

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Gertler lived near Hampstead Heath from the winter of 1914–1915. The roundabout at the annual fair may have provided an inspiration for this picture. His painting from the spring of 1915 titled 'Swing Boats' (now lost, reproduced Woodeson, pl.28) is probably also of this fair. A letter from the writer D. H. Lawrence to Zoe Akins of 15 September 1915 describes a special fair then on the Heath (Zytaruk and Boulton, eds., 'The Letters of D. H. Lawrence', II, Cambridge 1981, p.396): 'There is a fair on behalf of the wounded soldiers today, and myriads of the wounded, in their bright blue uniforms and red scarves, and bands, and swing boats, and a whole rowdy enjoyment. It is queer.' Both the colours, and his remarking the odd contrast between wounded soldiers and public enjoyment, connect this comment with his friend Gertler's painting.


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More information





Oil on canvas


H 189.2 x W 142.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased 1984

Work type


Inscription description

date inscribed


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