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A Conversation
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A Conversation


Vanessa Bell (1879 - 1961)

Oil on canvas

Width: 81 cm ( canvas ); Height: 86.6 cm ( canvas ); Height: 101 cm ( frame ); Width: 94.9 cm ( frame ); Depth: 3.9 cm ( frame );

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Fry, Roger Eliot; bequest; 1935

About this work
Three women are shown in earnest conversation before a curtained window through which a flower garden is visible. The arrangement of the bodies and the close grouping of the heads give the gathering a sense of drama and a conspiratorial air. It was this humorous and incisive quality that the author Virginia Woolf admired most about the painting when she praised it in a letter to her sister: "I think you are a most remarkable painter. But I maintain you are into the bargain, a satirist, a conveyer of impressions about human life: a short story writer of great wit and able to bring off a situation in a way that rouses my envy." The painting retains its original frame, painted by Bell. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust\1961 Estate of Vanessa Bell, courtesy of Henrietta Garnett

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