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The Café (Café Conte, London) (1937-38)

(Frank) Graham Bell

oil on canvas

Manchester Art Gallery

The Café (Café Conte, London) (1937-38)

Photo Credit: Manchester Art Gallery





Oil, Canvas

Physical Object Description:

Signed bottom, towards right : G Bell. On window, café name and advertising : BAR CONTE / CAFE AT TABLES 2D / CHOCOLATE 4D


121.9 x 91.7 cm

Accession Number:



Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 1943

Ownership history:

Purchased from the artist by the Contemporary Art Society, 1938 (for £50; £20 of which contributed by Sir Kenneth Clark, John Hugh Smith and Gerald Kelly); presented to Manchester Art Gallery, 1943
An everyday scene of a crowded small café, viewed from the interior, looking down the café counter towards a window. A woman in overalls stands behind the counter wiping crockery. In the foreground, two customers stand in front of the counter, a man with a cup of tea, another reading a newspaper. There is a glass cabinet on top of the counter containing cakes. More customers can be seen in the background through the archway and out of the window, a street is just visible. The figures depicted from left are the café proprietor's daughter and fellow Euston Road School artists, Geoffrey Tibble (1909-1952), Victor Pasmore (1908-1998), Claude Rogers (1907-1979) and William Coldstream (1908-1987) with their friend Igor Anrep (1914-2003), son of the mosaicist, Boris. The café was presumably near to the School of Drawing and Painting that was founded by Coldstream, Pasmore and Rogers in London in 1937, initially based at 12 Fitzroy Street and then at 314/316 Euston Road until the outbreak of WW2 in 1939.

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Artworks by (Frank) Graham Bell

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