The Art of Bloomsbury: Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant
Edited by Richard Shone
Essays by James Beechey and Richard Morphet
Published by Tate Gallery Publishing
293 pages, 9.2 x 0.8 x 11.8 inches, 360 illustrations, cloth and paperback, ISBN 1854372858 (paper); 1854372963 (cloth)
Publication date: May 20, 2000
The artists of Bloomsbury—Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell, and Duncan Grant—played a prominent role in the development of modernist painting in Britain. Their work was often audacious and experimental, and had considerable influence on British art and design in the twentieth century.
This catalogue, published to accompany the first major exhibition of the Bloomsbury painters ever to be held in Britain, provides a new look at the visual side of a movement that is more generally known for its literary achievements. Catalogue entries on 200 works, all illustrated in color, bring out the chief characteristics of their painting—domestic, contemplative, sensuous, and essentially pacific. These qualities are seen in landscapes, portraits, and sill lifes set in London, Sussex, and the South of France but also inform their abstract painting and applied art, which placed them at the forefront of the avant-garde before the First World War. Portraits of family and friends—from Virginia Woolf and Maynard Keynes to Aldous Huxley and Edith Sitwell—vividly evoke Bloomsbury and its wider cultural connections. Three authoritative essays provide fresh insights into the work of the artists and the changing critical reaction to it. Friendships and relationships beyond Bloomsbury are also discussed, establishing the movement within a broad European context.