Vanessa Bell

Vanessa Bell was a famous English painter and the sister of Virginia Woolf. She studied art at the Royal Academy.
When their parents died, Vanessa, Virginia en their brothers Thoby and Adrian rented a house in London, in Bloombury. The artistic and intellectual friends they made would form the Bloomsbury group.
Vanessa married Clive Bell, and together they had two sons. Their eldest son Julian died in 1937 in the Spanish Civil War, and their youngest son Quentin would later help publish the diaries and letters of his aunt Virginia Woolf.
The marriage between Clive and Vanessa was friendly, although they both took lovers. Vanessa had an affair with writer Roger Fry and then a long lasting relationship with painter Duncan Grant. Together they had a daughter Angelica, although she believed for a very long time that Clive was her father.
Vanessa died in 1961.

I am very interested in Virginia Woolf and recently I read the book 'Vanessa and Virginia' by Susan Sellers. That book made me become a little bit fascinated with Vanessa as well. I also have the book A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf by Jane Dunn. I read it a couple of years ago, but I think I will read it again.

Leonard Woolf
Angelica, Vannessa's daughter

Virginia Woolf


  1. Hi Bettina. Could you tell me where you got the image of the last Duncan Grant painting - the one with the cat sitting on a chair. I can't find it anywhere and I want to refer to it. We are researching the chair itself - it is still at Charleston for the Ken Stradling Collection of 20th century design in Bristol.

    1. Hello Olvier, I got it via pinterest. If you google 'paintings Vanessa Bell' this one will come up on pinterest.

      But I quess I got it wrong then and this is a painting by Duncan Grant and not Vanessa Bell? I just assumed internet got it right, since I did not see the painting anywhere else. But thank you very much in giving me this information, I can rectify it in my post!

      Kind regards,


Post a Comment