Vanessa Bell

Still Life on Corner of a Mantelpiece

1914

In Tate Britain
Artist
Vanessa Bell 1879–1961
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 559 x 457 mm
frame: 614 x 512 x 49 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1969
Reference
T01133

Display caption

Vanessa Bell was a central figure of the Bloomsbury group, a group of artists, writers and intellectuals, formed in 1905. This mantelpiece was in Vanessa Bell’s house at 46 Gordon Square in London, where the group would often meet. The objects on it include handmade paper flowers from the Omega Workshops, a design company founded by Roger Fry, a member of the group. Bell’s use of an unconventional low viewpoint, fractured, abstracted forms and bright colours show her exploring techniques associated with Fauvism and Cubism.

Gallery label, March 2018

Catalogue entry

T01133 STILL LIFE ON CORNER OF A MANTELPIECE 1914
Not inscribed.
Canvas, 22 × 18 (56×45.5).
Purchased from the artist's daughter, Mrs Angelica Garnett (Grant-in-Aid) 1969.
Exh: Adams Gallery, October 1961 (10, as ‘The Mantelpiece’); Arts Council Gallery, London, February–March 1964 and provincial tour, April–August (24, as ‘The Mantelpiece’).

As with many other of her paintings, this work by Vanessa Bell was painted at the same time as another of the same subject by Duncan Grant. The Grant, in oil and collage on board, 18×15½ inches (coll: d'Offay Couper Gallery) treats the boxes and flowers a little more explicitly and was signed and dated 1914 by the artist in or after 1964.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1968-70, London 1970

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