Ruben Oliver is a charming and well educated portrait artist.

Character HistoryEdit


He is an educated man. His wife died. His friends write the papers.

Series 3 - 1924Edit

Polly Gray Ruben Oliver

Ruben Oliver and Polly Gray in Thomas's wedding

At the wedding of Thomas Shelby and Grace Burgess, Ruben immediately finds himself entranced with Polly Shelby. He speaks to her a number of times, clearly attempting some romantic advances including bringing some champagne to her room but she has yet to trust him.

He attempts to introduce himself to Thomas but is ignored, mainly due to Thomas's focus on Russian business at the wedding.

Later Polly approaches Ruben to commission him to paint her portrait. He again attempts mildly flirtatious conversation but Polly is resistant and reserved. Indeed, she suspects his advances are only because he wants the thrill of dating a gangster. After telling her that his wife was deceased, that he sees her as an artistic eclectic and then openly telling her that he wishes to sleep with her, though she does not shut him out or advance it further herself she does allow his painting and their relationship, as it stands, to continue.

Relationships Edit

Polly Gray Edit

They came from different society, he's well-educated artist but she has never educated, be the matriarch of criminal gang and a murder. However he's fascinated by her beauty, saying she's a woman of substance and class. He pursues and seduces her until things have begun to develop between them.

Finally, Polly decides to come for him at night and sleeps with him. Polly trusts him in the end and starts sharing a secret about the murder of Chief Inspector Chester Campbell.

Ep3 6 Polly Ruben

Polly Gray and Ruben Oliver

Next day, he leaves her because he's ready for her underworld life. When Charles Shelby's kidnapped, Thomas makes her misunderstand that Ruben betrays her. However he's back and makes clear he's never betrayed her. He tells he's ready to enter her world. She speaks that she wants a dull life and him, then they embrace and kiss.

Later Polly is imprisoned for murder of Campbell, almost executed then released. Nearly 2 years later in Polly's alone without Ruben Oliver. She says to Ada Shelby that she's lost a man.

Quotes Edit

Polly Shelby: "You've got to tell me the reason, otherwise I'll never be able to trust you."

Mr. Oliver: "The truth is that I slept with the wife of one of the colonels who sat for me. But that was 12 years ago. And the aristocracy don't believe in forgiveness."
Polly: "Neither do the Shelbys."
"To me, politics is deliberately making things better for some people by deliberately making them worse for others."— Ruben Oliver to Ada Shelby
"It's yours. It belongs on you. A woman of substance and class. Believe me. I've painted many women who don't belong in their expensive dresses."— Ruben Oliver to Polly Gray
"I am planning to seduce you eventually and please, God, sleep with you." — Ruben Oliver to Polly Gray