Vanessa Bell

Vanessa Bell

Portrait of A Bloomsbury Artist

Book - 2016
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Vanessa Bell is central to the history of the Bloomsbury Group, yet until this authorised biography was written, she largely remained a silent and inscrutable figure. Tantalising glimpses of her life appeared mainly in her sister, Virginia Woolf's, letters, diaries and biography. Frances Spalding here draws upon a mass of unpublished documents to reveal Bell's extraordinary achievements in both her art and her life. She recounts in vivid detail how Bell's move into the Bloomsbury Group and her exposure to Paris and the radical art of the Post-Impressionists ran parrallel with an increasingly unorthodox personal life that spun in convoluted threads between her marriage to Clive Bell, her affair with Roger Fry, her friendship with Duncan Grant and relationship with her sister.
Publisher: London, Tauris Parke Paperbacks,, 2016.
Edition: New paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016.
ISBN: 9781784532413
Characteristics: xxii, 399 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm.


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Dec 19, 2017

I suggested this enhanced biography for the library, and am pleased to have read it. It is detailed, and provides a very good overview of the lives of not only Vanessa Bell, but those closest to her. Her life as an artist is well rounded. The lives of Bloomsbury people has been well covered, but this volume offers a very good idea of the life of Vanessa Bell.

It is not the fault of the writer, but the lives of these people irritates me. They claim to be poor, while having 4 staff to support the domestic life. The seem to spend a great deal of time having holiday all over England and Europe, minus the children. None of them ever seem to have a proper job, or any real necessity to watch their finances. Throughout the Great Depression, they seem to have no interest in how life is for the suffering population. Self centered, self indulgent from my viewpoint. I think the worth of Bell and her close friends as artists is overstated.

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