Vanessa Bell
The Tub 1917

Artwork details

Vanessa Bell 1879–1961
The Tub
Date 1917
Medium Oil paint and gouache on canvas
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 1803 x 1664 mm
frame: 1823 x 1702 x 57 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1975
Not on display

Display caption

In October 1916 Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and the writer David Garnett moved into Charleston Farmhouse, on the South Downs in Sussex. This unusually large painting was intended for the garden room of the new house. It was never installed, and the artist kept it folded up. It was only rediscovered with the revival of enthusiasm for the art of Bloomsbury in the 1970s.

Bathers were painted by many of the French painters Bell admired, including Cézanne, Degas and Matisse. Originally the figure was partially clothed; there is a photograph of an earlier version of the painting in the display case in this room.

September 2004

About this artwork