Iceland Poppies by Vanessa Bell

This rare example of Bell's early work hung at Charleston from the 1930's until 1978.


Oil on canvas
53 x 44 cm
Art Fund grant:
£20,000 ( Total: £200,000)
Acquired in:
Private collection

Considered one of her finest paintings, the artist's biographer Frances Spalding has commented on the 'cool silvery tonality and concentrated mood' of the composition. Bell would have been aware of the association of poppies with opium and sleep, reinforced in the painting by the presence of the medicine bottle. There may also be an autobiographical reading in the symbolic arrangement of the three vessels, and the two white poppies slightly distanced from the third, red flower.


The artist; Duncan Grant; Private collection.

Venue details

Charleston near Firle, LEWES East Sussex BN8 6LL 01323 811 265

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £11)

1 Mar – Sun 29 Oct

House and Garden
Wed – Sat, 12pm ​– 5pm, last entry 4pm (Jul - Aug, 11.30am - 5.30pm, last entry 4.30pm)
Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays, 12pm ​– 5.00pm, last entry 4.00pm
Shop, Café and Garden open a hour before the House 

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