5 of 22 portraits of Lydia Lopokova
by Duncan Grant
oil on canvas, feigned oval, early 1940s
18 1/8 in. x 15 in. (460 mm x 381 mm)
Given by Lady Charlotte Bonham-Carter, 1988
Sitterback to top
- Lydia Lopokova (Lady Keynes) (1892-1981), Ballet dancer; wife of Baron Keynes. Sitter in 22 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Duncan Grant (1885-1978), Artist. Artist of 9 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Born in St Petersburg, Lopokova graduated from the Imperial Ballet School to the corps de ballet of the Mariinsky in 1909. A year later she joined Diagheliv's Ballets Russes and created the role of Columbine in Carnaval. In 1911 she went to work in the US before returning to Diagheliv's company in London five years later. In 1919 she astounded British audiences with her comic performance in La Boutique Fantasque. Two years later she married the economist Maynard Keynes and together they founded the Arts Theatre, Cambridge. She continued to dance and was an influential supporter of British ballet.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 389
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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