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Edith Sitwell (1923-35)
Presented by Sir Edward Bennington-Behrens 1943
© The Estate of Mrs G.A. Wyndham Lewis: The Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust,
Photo © Tate, London 2008

From 1918 to 1921, Wyndham Lewis lived with Iris Barry, who gave birth to two children during this time, and who features in a number of his portraits. In 1930, Lewis published a satirical novel, The Apes of God, which ridicules many of those who sat for him during the 1920s. Lewis was highly critical of the ‘Apes’, (notably the Bloomsburies) whom he perceived as wealthy amateurs, competing with ‘real’ artists, including himself. Ironically, Lewis often depended on the generosity of these wealthy ‘Apes’, and the portraits do not share the harsh, derisive attitude found in his writing.