Dame Ethel Walker
Vanessa 1937

Artwork details

Dame Ethel Walker 1861–1951
Date 1937
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 610 x 508 mm
frame: 780 x 675 x 106 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1939
Not on display

Display caption

Vanessa Bell, who is shown in this portrait, was the sister of the writer Virginia Woolf and one of the founders of the circle known as Bloomsbury. Here she is placed in a domestic interior, possibly at Charleston in Sussex. Her gaze is directed away from the viewer, suggesting that we are intruding into her private space.

Bell’s willingness to experiment placed her in the forefront of the avant-garde. By contrast Walker worked in a more traditional style mainly producing portraits, flower pieces and seascapes. 

August 2004

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