Imaginary scene of a group of actors rehearsing in a lodging house sitting room. Young girl in foreground to right, carrying a tray with an empty plate and jug. Three figures to centre and left, one seated at a table by a shuttered window, two seated on the ground before him to left. Mantelpiece and large mirror reflecting central figure in background to left, shuttered windows to right.
Strolling Players 1906 Henry Tonks 1862-1937 Oil on canvas The lodging house in which the players rehearse is not luxurious, but the impression is of cosy softness, as hard surfaces are draped and pinks and golds shine in the warm light. These are actors of the humblest sort, yet Tonks accords them respect. The light that bathes each figure is not the glory of limelight, but the joy of collective artistic creation. Tonks was darkly suspicious of the aims of French Post-Impressionist artists such as Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne. However, he was not anti-French: his admiration of Edgar Degas, who is now best known for his ballet dancer works, can be traced in Strolling Players. Purchased 1926.20
unframed: 118.2cm x 128.3cm
framed: 141cm x 151cm
Place of creation
© Manchester Art Gallery