The Philosopher

© estate of John David Roberts. By courtesy of the William Roberts Society. Image credit: Ben Uri Collection

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This lithograph is a portrait of 'religious conscience' conveyed in a modernist idiom with strongly contrasting planes of black and white. The artist had strong links with the Vorticists (although by 1922, this short-lived movement had ceased to exist) and also identified with Cubism which, he wrote, 'succeeds in conveying the idea of a dynamic force' (Leeds Mercury, 1928).

This print marks a high point of Kramer's modernist style and is one of his most recognisable and successful images. However, the edition was never numbered or closed, enabling the artist to sign and sell copies over many years.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum



The Philosopher




lithograph on paper


H 50.3 x W 33 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased at auction, 2018

Work type


Signature/marks description

Signed (lower right) 'Kramer'

Inscription description

Inscribed (below, left): 'The Philosopher', (right) 'To my friend John from Jacob 1937


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Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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