2 of 28 portraits of Vita Sackville-West
by William Rothenstein
red and black chalk, 1925
16 1/8 in. x 11 7/8 in. (408 mm x 302 mm)
Bequeathed by Nigel Nicolson, 2005
Sitterback to top
- Victoria Mary ('Vita') Sackville-West (1892-1962), Writer and gardener; wife of Sir Harold Nicolson. Sitter in 28 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945), Artist and teacher of art. Artist associated with 221 portraits, Sitter in 24 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Acquired many years after it was drawn and given to Vita Sackville-West's husband, Harold Nicolson, by their sons, Ben and Nigel, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Harold is recorded as describing it with characteristic bluntness: 'Vita was a beautiful woman and this is an ugly one'.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Life lines: Recently acquired 20th Century drawings (31 October 2009 - 25 April 2010)
- Portraits on paper (29 July 2006 - 3 December 2006)
Events of 1925back to top
Current affairsOn the advice of the Governor of the Bank of England, Montagu Norman, Winston Churchill returns British currency to the Gold Standard. This caused deflation across the empire as the value of the pound returned to the pre-war gold price, leading to unemployment, the miners' strike and the general strike in 1926.
Art and scienceJohn Logie Baird transmits the first television images of a ventriloquist's dummy. The BBC used Logie Baird's invention from 1927 until 1935 when they adopted EMI-Marconi's superior electronic scanning system.
Virginia Woolf publishes her innovative 'stream of consciousness' novel, Mrs Dalloway, which chronicles a day in the life of the protagonist through her interior monologue.
InternationalSir Joseph Austen Chamberlain, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs represents Britain at the Locarno Treaties. Lorcano secured the post-war territorial settlement and established pledges of non-aggression between various European Nations. The 'spirit of Locarno' helped secure Germany's admission into the League of Nations in 1926. Chamberlain was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in the peace agreement.
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