Lot 14: Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)

Christie's

November 19, 2004, 12:00 AM EST
London, United Kingdom
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Description: The Schoolroom, 1937 lithograph in four colours on white wove paper 17 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (45.1 x 59.7 cm.) Published by Contemporary Lithographs Ltd in an edition of 75-100 copies.
Artist or Maker: Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)
Exhibited: New York, Katonah Gallery, Bloomsbury Artists at Charleston: Paintings from the Reader's Digest Collection, August - October 1987, no. 5.
Johannesburg, Art Gallery, Bloomsbury Artists at Charleston: Paintings from the Reader's Digest Corporate Collection, November 1992 - February 1993, no. 5.
Literature: T. Bradshaw, The Bloomsbury Artists prints and book design, Aldershot, 1999, p. 44. no. 10.
Provenance: with William Weston Gallery, London, where purchased by the present owner in January 1980.
Notes: Tony Bradshaw comments on the lithograph series, 'In 1937 Robert Wellington of the Zwemmer Gallery (with John Piper as his technical adviser) set up Contemporary Lithographs Ltd which published two series of colour lithographs by various artists, the size of large decorative wall prints, and drawn directly onto the stones at the Curwen Press. The first series was intended for the decoration of schools, the second more generally for collectors with a modest income; and most artists chose suitably familiar, even juvenile, subjects. Vanessa Bell's The Schoolroom confirmed very obviously to this prospectus; and Duncan Grant's At the Ballet (see lot 17), in which he played on the contrast in colour and movement of a troupe of brilliantly-lit dancers gliding above the heads of sedentary spectators, easily satisfied the demand for attractive and breezy images' (see T. Bradshaw, op. cit., p. 21).

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