Vanessa Bell
Helen Dudley c.1915

Artwork details

Vanessa Bell 1879–1961
Helen Dudley
Date c.1915
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 724 x 610 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1969
Not on display

Display caption

Helen Dudley was the daughter
of a prominent Chicago gynaecologist.
In 1914 she had a brief affair with the
English philosopher, Bertrand Russell,
who she met at Harvard, Massachusetts.


Bell painted this portrait at Roger Fry's
home 'Durbins', outside Guildford,
before Helen Dudley's friendship with Russell had ended. At this time Bell was making decorative art, including mosaics and pottery, for Fry's Omega Workshops.
The strong colours and elementary forms
in this portrait recall her decorative
drawing technique and the influence
of the Post-Impressionist artists.

September 2004

About this artwork