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Mark Gertler

(1891-1939), Painter

Sitter in 100 portraits
Artist of 6 portraits
Born into a Polish-Jewish immigrant family in Spitalfields, in 1908 Gertler enrolled in the Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks and alongside Paul Nash, where he befriended Edward Marsh and Dora Carrington. Lady Ottoline Morrell became his patron, through whom he met members of the Bloomsbury Group. Gertler was a conscientious objector and used the de-humanising lessons of Vorticism to create, in Merry-Go-Round (1916, Tate Gallery), one of the most powerful images of the futility of war. His obsessive love for Carrington was not returned, and together with his anti-war beliefs, this fuelled his creativity. Suffering from ill health and depression, and disappointed by his career, he committed suicide in 1939.

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