Copyright reserved

In Storage

William Ratcliffe (1870-1955)

The Coffee House

The Coffee House is probably Ratcliffe's most celebrated painting. It was made while he was living in Hampstead. Ratcliffe found this interesting and complex subject when he stopped for lunch at a coffee house in nearby Finchley. He returned over several days to make drawings and gather information for the painting which was completed at home.

The picture takes in the various parts of the coffee house, the mirror on the wall opposite shows the red blind on the window behind Ratcliffe's seat. He uses a wide range of colours but simplifies both the furniture and the figures to create a coherent design. Ratcliffe's interest in the patterned walls may reflect his early career as a wallpaper designer.

Medium oil on canvas
Date 1914
Dimensions 510mm x 613mm
Acquisition Number SOTAG : 1436
Credit Line Purchased in 1953 through the Frederick William Smith Bequest Fund

Other works by this artist