Graham Bell

Miss Anne Popham

1937–8

Artist
Graham Bell 1910–1943
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 762 x 635 mm
frame: 941 x 823 x 85 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1944
Reference
N05461

Not on display

Display caption

The sitter, Anne Olivier Popham, was a student of art history at the Courtauld Institute. In 1952 she married Quentin Bell and later edited the diaries of his aunt, Virginia Woolf. This portrait was painted at the same period as Claude Rogers's of Mrs Chilver. Comparison reveals the greater stillness, gravity and austerity of Bell's image, qualities in common with the art of William Coldstream, with whom he shared a studio at this time.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

N05461 PORTRAIT OF A LADY 1937–8
 
Inscr. ‘Graham Bell’ b.r
Canvas, 30×25 (76×64).
Purchased from the sitter (Knapping Fund) 1944.
Coll: Sir Kenneth Clark; Miss Anne Olivier Popham.
Exh: Paintings by Graham Bell, Thomas Carr ... Geoffrey Tibble, Rosenberg and Helft, September–October 1938 (2), as ‘Miss P, 1938’; A.I.A. Gallery, 1939 (catalogue untraced); C.A.S., The Euston Road Group, Oxford, May–June 1941 (24, as ‘Miss O. Popham, 1940’, or 25a, as ‘Miss D. Popham, 1938’, both lent by Sir Kenneth Clark).
Lit: Sir Kenneth Clark, Paintings of Graham Bell, 1947, No.8, repr. pl.2.

A portrait of Miss Anne Olivier Popham (Mrs Quentin Bell) painted in the winter of 1937–8 (letter from the sitter, 22 March 1944).

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I