Natalie Bevan (née Ackenhausen, later Denny) ('Supper (Natalie Denny)')

1 portrait matching 'NPG 6877'

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Natalie Bevan (née Ackenhausen, later Denny) ('Supper (Natalie Denny)')

by Mark Gertler
oil on canvas, 1928
42 3/8 in. x 28 1/4 in. (1075 mm x 718 mm)
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 2009
Primary Collection
NPG 6877

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Mark Gertler (1891-1939), Painter. Artist or producer of 6 portraits, Sitter in 100 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Gertler was a leading member of the London Group, which succeeded the Camden Town Group in 1913. He painted two portraits of Natalie Denny in 1928 after meeting her at a New Year's Eve party given by Augustus John. Following her marriage to Bevan the painting hung above the fireplace at Boxted House, occupying pride of place in their collection.

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  • Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 202 Read entry

    This is the second of two portraits of Natalie Bevan by Mark Gertler (1891–1939). A celebrated beauty and a regular at the Gargoyle Club in Soho, during the 1920s she was the muse of many leading British artists and numbered Christopher Wood, C. R. W. Nevinson, John Nash and John Armstrong among her admirers. She met Gertler at a party given by Augustus John in 1927 and both portraits were painted a year later. Whereas the other painting depicts her seated in an armchair, this work shows the nineteen-year-old surrounded by ripe fruit, fur and flowers. Calculated to convey an impression of sensuality, these props were actually less alluring than they appear, the ‘fur’ being in reality a blanket, the ‘gown’ a slip, and the ‘linen tablecloth’ a tea towel. But Gertler’s transformation of these everyday items is eminently successful. Admitting the influence of Paul Cézanne and Pierre- Auguste Renoir, Gertler adopted a chromatically rich palette to underpin his overtly voluptuous image. In later life Bevan became a highly regarded hostess whose home, Boxted House in Essex, was a focal point for a later generation of artists.

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Events of 1928back to top

Current affairs

The Representation of the People Act 1928 grants women the same rights to vote as men. Building on reform of 1918, this Act lowered the voting age for women from 30 to 21, and removed the ownership of property requirements.

Art and science

Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. The Scottish scientist's identification of the first antibiotic revolutionised the treatment of infection and is a landmark in medical history. By the Second World War, penicillin was being used to treat wounded soldiers and had a major impact on survival rates of those with infected wounds.

International

Stalin announces the Soviet Union's first Five-Year plan of economic development. Based on Lenin's New Economic Policy, the Five-Year Plans aimed to expand the country's economy through rapid centralised industrialisation.

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