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Virginia Woolf

8 of 64 portraits of Virginia Woolf

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Virginia Woolf

by Stephen Tomlin
lead bust, 1953, based on a work of 1931
15 3/4 in. x 15 3/8 in. (400 mm x 390 mm) overall
Purchased, 1953
Primary Collection
NPG 3882

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Stephen Tomlin (1901-1937), Sculptor. Artist or producer of 2 portraits, Sitter associated with 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Tomlin was associated with Bloomsbury and, in addition to this portrait of Virginia Woolf (for which, unusually, she agreed to sit), he also made a bust of Lytton Strachey. Explore this portrait from all angles.

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Events of 1931back to top

Current affairs

Sailors at the Invergordon naval base mutiny in response to pay cuts. The cuts of up to 25% were part of the government's attempt to deal with the Great Depression by reducing public spending. Sailors protested by holding meetings and refusing orders.
Dr Harold Moody founds the League of Coloured Peoples, lobbying for equal rights for black people in Britain and for international civil rights.

Art and science

The modern tube map is introduced. Harry Beck's design was unique in following the properties of a circuit diagram rather than the geographical location of the stations.
The Vic-Wells Ballet company is founded by Dame Ninette de Valois and housed by Lilian Baylis at Sadler's Wells Theatre. It was granted a Royal Charter in 1957 and became the Royal Ballet.


The Second Spanish Republic is established. Following an election dominated by the Republicans, King Alfonso XIII abdicated and a new constitution was drawn up.
The Statute of Westminster grants legislative equality to the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire. The Statue decreed that the British Government could no longer make ordinary law for the dominions unless it was at their request and with their consent.

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