Vanessa Bell (2)

I do not think of Vanessa Bell as a product of the Royal Academy Schools because the whole of Bloomsbury was so implacably hostile to the the Royal Academy and everything it stood for.   But it was then the leading art school and after lessons at home from Ebenezer Cooke and a period studying at Arthur Cope’s art school at Park Cottage in Pelham Street, she entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1901 where she learned anatomy and perspective from, amongst others, George Clausen and John Singer Sargent. Not much of her early work survives apart from her very beautiful silvery picture of Iceland Poppies which survives at Charleston and shows how accomplished she was as a painter before friendships with Roger Fry and Duncan Grant moved her in the direction of Post-Impressionism.

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