Figurative painter, writer, editor and poet whose father was the artist and writer Quentin Bell and who grew up in Newcastle and Leeds. He was early familiarised with Bloomsbury when staying with his grandmother the painter Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant at Charleston, Firle, Sussex. He read English literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, 1970–3; attended the City and Guilds of London Art School; and from the mid-1970s was a full-time painter working often to commission, his output ranging from group portraits to inn signs. Bell was the author of Bonnard, 1994; What is Painting? Representation and Modern Art, 1999; and the introduction to Five Hundred Self-Portraits, 2000, which included a self-portrait. He also wrote critically for The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement and Modern Painters and published poetry.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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