Museo Thyssen Bornemisza

Permanent Collection


David Bomberg

Bargee (Mother and Child)
Oil on canvas
91.5 x 71 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 471 (1980.1)
ficha de la obra

© VEGAP, Madrid

More information about this Work

Like the work of many of his contemporaries , Bomberg’s painting underwent a transformation during the years immediately after the Great War. The precise, abstract geometry of his early works gave way to a more dynamic, agitated structure that hinted at certain unrest. This new style is particularly apparent in a series devoted to the bargees of London’s canals, which was shown at the Adelphi Gallery in London and in the London Group Exhibition of 1919.

The sketchy , impastoed technique and dull palette of the Bargee (Mother and Child) belonging to the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection prefigures the Expressionistic style of his final period, although the rigid , geometrised composition is closer to his pre-war abstract works. The bird’s eye view of the woman with a baby on her lap, in a stiff pose as if both were imprisoned on the barge, and the deep melancholy he succeeds in conveying attest to Bomberg’s interest in underprivileged members of society.

Paloma Alarcó