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.