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Character sketches: drawings by Fred Roe, 1928-45 (volume 2)

90 Portraits in set

The artist Fred Roe (1864-1947) assembled two albums of 'Character sketches' between 1900 and 1945, containing portraits of Roe's friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Many of these are drawn in pencil on menu cards and table plans and other ephemera, giving us a vivid sense of the portraits' context. A number of portraits were signed, not only by Roe, but also by the sitter. As well as portraits sketched at social events, a substantial number of portraits and comic sketches were made during committee meetings for the Artists' General Benevolent Institution and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. The albums therefore depict the social and professional circles of a London artist in London in the first half of the twentieth century. Roe used the albums as a filing system, allowing him to retrieve sketches and have them reproduced in publications, sometimes alongside the sitter's obituary. He annotated the album pages with the sitter's biographical information, and in one case, even jotted down the sitter's birthday. The albums were extensively annotated by Roe's son, the art historian F. Gordon Roe; they were generously donated to the NPG by his daughter, the artist (Eleanor) Frances Gordon Maynard (née Roe).

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Waggon and horses, by Fred Roe - NPG D43258

Waggon and horses

by Fred Roe
pencil, 1900-1920
NPG D43258

Fredrick William Pomeroy, by Fred Roe - NPG D43199

Fredrick William Pomeroy

by Fred Roe
pencil and wash, 1914-1924
NPG D43199

Edward Charles Thomas, by Fred Roe - NPG D43222

Edward Charles Thomas

by Fred Roe
pencil, 30 March 1924
NPG D43222