1 of 19 portraits of Vanessa Bell
by Duncan Grant
oil on canvas, 1917
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1016 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Vanessa Bell (née Stephen) (1879-1961), Painter; sister of Virginia Woolf. Sitter in 19 portraits, Artist associated with 14 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Duncan Grant (1885-1978), Artist. Artist of 9 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Bell began to work with Grant, a younger painter whose work she admired, from around 1913 and they subsequently fell in love. This is one of two portraits of Bell by Duncan Grant in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Its use of rich, vibrant colour and pattern demonstrates Grant's adoption of a Post-Impressionist style. At the time the portrait was painted, Bell was also experimenting with bold colour and simplified form in her own painting.
Linked publicationsback to top
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, Sussex (sitter's home, Charleston, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1917back to top
Current affairsKing George V changes his name from 'Saxe-Coburg' to 'Windsor.' Amid wartime anti-German public sentiment the British Royal Family decided to relinquish their German name and titles. The name 'Windsor' was chosen as variation on ''Wettin', the late Prince Albert's personal surname.
Art and scienceThe National Photographic Record is established at the instigation of the photographer Walter Stoneman to commission photographs of 'distinguished living contemporaries of British nationality.' This project allowed the National Portrait Gallery to circumvent its own rule that portraits could not enter the collection until the sitter had been dead ten years.
InternationalThe Russian Revolution begins with the February Revolution and the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. Seven months later the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin seize power in the October Revolution forming the Soviet Communist Government, which lasted until 1991. The USA abandons its neutrality and joins the war against Germany following a series of attacks on American passenger and merchant ships.
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