Name commonly used to identify a circle of intellectuals and artists who lived in Bloomsbury, near central London, in the period 1904–40
The artists and writers associated with Bloomsbury were in revolt against everything Victorian and played a key role in introducing many modern ideas into Britain. The principal artists of the group were Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, who was also a highly influential critic, and Duncan Grant. The intellectuals included the biographer Lytton Strachey, the economist Maynard Keynes, the novelist Virginia Woolf and the art critic Clive Bell.
In 1910 Fry organised in London the exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists which brought modern French art to the attention of the British public. Visitors to the show were duly scandalised by the many works by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. The Bloomsbury painters created their own distinctive brand of post-impressionism and around 1914 experimented with abstract art.
Fry also founded the design firm Omega Workshops for which the Bloomsbury artists designed pottery, furniture, fabrics and interiors.
Note that those associated with Bloomsbury resisted being categorised as a group.