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Blazing a Trail / Vanessa Bell (British, 1879-1961) Still life with roses 47 x 40.8 cm. (18 1/2 x 16 in.)

Lot 27
Vanessa Bell
(British, 1879-1961)
Still life with roses 47 x 40.8 cm. (18 1/2 x 16 in.)
28 September 2022, 15:00 BST
London, New Bond Street

Sold for £69,600 inc. premium

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Vanessa Bell (British, 1879-1961)

Still life with roses
signed with initials and dated 'VB 58' (lower right)
oil on canvas
47 x 40.8 cm. (18 1/2 x 16 in.)


Private Collection, U.K.

From 1916 Charleston, an isolated farmhouse situated near Firle, Sussex, became the home of Vanessa Bell and her family along with the artist Duncan Grant. Soon after their arrival, the artists began to embellish the interior with paintings, furniture, textiles, and ceramics; while the garden became a luxuriant space adorned with ponds, mosaics, and sculptural features. From the desk by the French window in her bedroom, the artist was able to see the garden in full bloom during the summer months in which a mass of roses vied for space alongside carnations, lilies, and sweet peas. The present work, depicting a generous grouping of roses in various bright colours, was painted during the 1950s and demonstrates Bell's long association with still life. Here we see her entirely modern interpretation of the traditional subject with the incorporation of a patterned fabric drawing our eyes around the composition. In 2017, a new shrub rose was introduced at the Chelsea Flower Show by David Austin with the name Rosa Vanessa Bell.

We are grateful to Richard Shone for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Additional information