by Vanessa Bell
oil and gouache on cardboard, 1915
30 1/8 in. x 20 3/4 in. (764 mm x 526 mm)
Artistback to top
- Vanessa Bell (née Stephen) (1879-1961), Painter; sister of Virginia Woolf. Artist or producer associated with 14 portraits, Sitter in 21 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Known as 'Bunny' to his friends, the writer David Garnett was admired for his good looks. This informal portrait was painted during a period when Garnett and Vanessa Bell were both sexually involved with the artist Duncan Grant. The relationship would later be further complicated when Garnett married Bell and Grant's daughter, Angelica Bell. This experimental portrait is relatively rare in the history of art because it shows an unclothed man painted by a woman.
Linked publicationsback to top
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, Sussex (Eleanor House, West Wittering, West Sussex)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Exposed: The Naked Portrait (9 January 2016 - 11 September 2016)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1915back to top
Current affairsThe Times Newspaper reports that Britain's Army is suffering from a lack of Ammunition Shells, pointing the finger of blame at the Liberal government. The Shell Scandal forced Asquith to form a new coalition government, bringing Conservatives into the cabinet and demonstrating the need to gear the whole country's economy towards the war effort.
Art and scienceAs the threat from aerial attack increased, the decision was made to protect the national art collections by storing them in basements or in locations outside London. On 15th October the National Portrait Gallery under the directorship of Sir Charles John Holmes closed its doors to the public and removed paintings from the walls.
InternationalStalemate ensues on the Western Front and trench warfare begins as both sides take up defensive positions. While offensive strategies become futile, serious loss of life occurs with the first deployment of tanks and the use of poison gas.
Albert Einstein publishes his General Theory of Relativity, a model of gravitation and cosmology.