"Men drift in thrilling masses past the Admiralty, cold night tide. Their throng creeps round corners, breaks faintly here and there up against a railing barring from possible sights... The police with distant icy contempt herd London. They shift it in lumps, passim, touching and shaping it with heavy delicate professional fingers... In ponderous masses they prowl with excited hearts. Are the crowds then female ?" BLAST 2 1915.

    "The night came on. He allowed himself to be carried by the crowd. He offered himself to its emotion which saturated him at length... The human cables had been disposed no doubt by skilful brains....[ as an experiment] he would not only mix with the crowd, he would train himself to act its mood, so that he could persuade its emotion to enter him properly... In isolation he would examine himself in the Crowd-mood.... He went outside into the crowd again. He sank like a diver.... Suddenly he experienced a distinct and he believed authentic shock. It could only come from the crowd ! Evidently it had come from its mind - the cerebration of this jelly-fish ! Hence the sting ! He had received his first novel sensation. What was it exactly - could he define it ? Well, it seemed to be that he was a married man !.....The English crowd is a stupid dragon. It out not to be allowed out alone ! I have lain in it for hours together and have received no sensation worth noting As Crowd it is a washout...." Added, "You have read what Cantleman felt. That is pretty near to what I felt. Great interest, great curiosity. But no identification of my personality with the general sensation.... what was meant by Crowd Master was that I was master of myself. Not of anybody else - that I have never wanted to be. I was master in the crowd, not master of the crowd. I moved freely and with satisfaction up and down its bloodstream in strict, even arrogant isolation from its demonic impulses." Blasting and Bombardiering, 1937.

    "Hobson he considered was a crowd. You could not say he was an individual, he was in fact a set. He sat there a cultivated audience, with the aplomb and absence of self-consciousness of numbers, of the herd - of those who know they are not alone. Tarr was shy and the reverse by turns ; he was alone." Tarr 1928 version.

    " Death is however only a form of Crowd.....The Crowd is an immense anaesthetic towards Death..." Blasting and Bombardiering, 1937










(Tate Coll.


The Crowd,

78" x 60",

exhibited the Second London Group 1915 as Revolution,

also known as Democratic Composition.

Acquired from the artist by Captain Guy Baker and presented by his widow Mrs. Stross to the Tate Gallery London.