The exhibition will take the form of a visual biography through portraiture and will be devoted to the life and achievements of Virginia Woolf, the celebrated writer and literary figure.
The display will include over 100 paintings, drawings and photographs and rare archival material, including a letter to her sister, Vanessa Bell, written shortly before her suicide.
|The exhibition page on the NPG website|
Woolf was a member of the Bloomsbury group and was painted by more than one of its members.
In 1905, Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell began to host weekly gatherings held at 46 Gordon Square, which led to the development of the Bloomsbury group of writers, artists and intellectuals, of which the sisters were central figures. The group included notable names such as John Maynard Keynes, Roger Fry and Lytton Strachey. In 1912, Woolf married Leonard Woolf and together founded publishing company the Hogarth Press in 1917.
In 1910 and 1912 Roger Fry brought French Post-impressionism to London and introduced England to modern art. From then on Woolf’s development as a modernist writer was to an extent influenced by her thinking about painting.
The portraits in the exhibition will include ones by Roger Fry, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell
|T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf |
by Lady Ottoline Morrell, June 1924
© National Portrait Gallery, London;
Highlights of the exhibition include distinctive portraits of Woolf by her Bloomsbury Group contemporaries, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry, as well as a collection of photographs by Beresford, Man Ray, and Beck and McGregor who photographed Woolf for Vogue. The exhibition will also feature portraits of those she was closest to, including a selection of intimate images recording her time spent with friends, family and literary peers.
The exhibition follows on from previous National Portrait Gallery literary exhibitions that have combined portraiture with biography, including the presentation of the Sitwell family in 1994 and the examination of Lord Byron in 2002.
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