This rare example of Bell's early work hung at Charleston from the 1930's until 1978.
Iceland Poppies by Vanessa Bell, c. 19081909
© Estate of Vanessa Bell courtesy of Henrietta Garnett
- 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.