Bell, Vanessa

BORN 30 May 1879, London: Hyde Park Gate, Kensington - DIED 7 Apr 1961, Firle, Sussex: Charleston Farmhouse
BIRTH NAME Stephen, Vanessa
CAUSE OF DEATH bronchitis
GRAVE LOCATION West Firle, East Sussex: St. Peter's Churchyard (near north wall of churchyard)

Vanessa Bell is best known as a member of the Bloomsbury Group. Her father was Sir Leslie Stephen and Virginia Woolf was her elder sister. She studied with Ebezner Cook and at John Cope's SChool of Art. From 1901 to 1904 she studied at the Royal Academy where John Singer Sargent was one of her techers. By 1905 her parents were both dead and her siblings sold their house in Westminster and moved to Bloomsbury.

In 1907 she married Clive Bell and in 1910 they had two sons, Julian and Quentin. Her husband had several affairs and by the time he started his long running affair with Mary Hutchinson in 1914, Vanessa was involved with Duncan Grant. She left Bell for Grant, who was mostly homosexual.

Vanessa, Duncan and Duncan's lover David Garnett moved to Charleston Farmhouse near Firle, Sussex shortly before the First World War. They had a daughter, Angelica, in 1918. After that their relationship was no longer sexual but they stayed together for the rest of her life and often painted side by side. Clive Bell raised Angelica like a daughter of his own.

Vanessa's painting was influenced by Whistler, but after the war her style became more abstract. Her son Julian died in 1937 in the Spanish Civil War. In 1939 Clive Bell gave up his house in London and joined Duncan and Vanessa in Firfe. In 1941 Virginia Woolf died and from then on Vanessa lived more isolated from society, but she continued painting and was a caring grandmother to Angelica's and Quentin's children.

• Father: Stephen, Leslie
• Mother: Stephen, Julia Prinsep
• Son: Bell, Quentin
• Sister: Hills, Stella

Related persons
• painted Huxley, Aldous
• was pupil of Sargent, John Singer


The grave of Vanessa Bell at St. Peter's Churchyard, West Firle, Sussex.
Picture by Androom (03 Oct 2014)


Wikipedia (EN):

Bellanger, Marguerite

Published: 12 Oct 2014
Last update: 07 Apr 2024