11 of 63 portraits of Virginia Woolf
by Man Ray
silver print, 27 November 1934
9 5/8 in. x 7 5/8 in. (246 mm x 195 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (1882-1941), Novelist and critic; sister of Vanessa Bell. Sitter in 63 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) (1890-1976), Photographer and artist. Artist associated with 23 portraits, Sitter in 16 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The novelist Virginia Woolf visited Man Ray's exhibition at Lund Humphries in London on 26 November 1934 and was asked by the photographer to sit to him. In his autobiography Man Ray recorded that he put lipstick on Virginia Woolf's mouth, explaining that it was for technical reasons and would not show in the photograph. Virginia's husband, Leonard Woolf, described this as by far the best photograph ever taken of her.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Parris, Matthew, Heroes and Villains: Scarfe at the National Portrait Gallery, 2003 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 September 2003 to 4 April 2004), p. 136
Events of 1934back to top
Current affairsSir Stafford Cripps represents the miners of Gresford Colliery in Wrexham at an inquiry into the recent gas explosion and fire which killed 263 miners, and three rescue workers in one of the worst mining disasters in British history.
Art and sciencePercy Shaw invents 'Cat's eyes'. The development of road reflectors increased safety on the roads at night and proved to be particularly useful during the wartime blackout. They are still used today.
Dylan Thomas published his first volume of poetry, 18 Poems.
InternationalStalin and Hitler consolidate dictatorial power by 'purging' their opponents. In the Soviet Union, members of the Communist Party and particular sectors of society such as the intelligentsia were targeted in the 'Great Purge', while in Germany Hitler murdered hundreds of potential opponents in the SA during the 'Night of the Long Knives'.
Thousands in the USA are forced to flee their homes to escape the Dust Bowl storms.
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Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer