A & A art and architecture spacer courtauld institute of art spacer
quick search advanced search browse temp folder
A Conversation
enlarge image zoom image

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)

This work is on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.

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

spacer spacer spacer spacer