Leonard Sidney Woolf
Leonard Sidney Woolf
by Vanessa Bell
oil on canvas, 1940
32 in. x 25 1/2 in. (813 mm x 648 mm)
Given by Marjorie Tulip ('Trekkie') Parsons (née Ritchie), 1969
Artistback to top
- Vanessa Bell (née Stephen) (1879-1961), Painter; sister of Virginia Woolf. Artist associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 19 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Bell's portrait is an effective evocation of Woolf's cerebral and somewhat austere character.
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Events of 1940back to top
Current affairsFollowing the German invasion of the Netherlands, Belgium and France, Neville Chamberlain resigns and Churchill is appointed Prime Minister making the famous speech: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.'
The Battle of Britain ends the Phoney War with Germany's attack on the nation from the air. Britain's cities, airbases and ports are bombed during the Blitz.
Art and scienceWith little access to sculpture materials, and a bombed out studio Henry Moore starts experimenting with drawings of war subjects. After taking shelter in a London Underground station during an air raid Moore was inspired to begin a series of Shelter Drawings. With a commission from the War Artists Advisory Committee, headed by Kenneth Clark, these became some of the most popular example of official war art.
InternationalBritain's attempt to defend France against German invasion by landing troops on the French coast ends in failure; France surrenders and Britain is left to face the Axis Powers alone. While the Dunkirk Landings were a failure, the heroic rescue of troops by a fleet of English civilian boats was a victory for morale, and the 'Dunkirk Spirit' came to stand as an emblem of British triumph in adversity.
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