19 October 2024 - 23 February 2025


Vanessa Bell was a key figure in 20th-century British art and played a central role in the Bloomsbury Group. The exhibition at MK Gallery – the first solo show of Bell’s work in over seven years and the largest to date – will be an overview spanning the artist’s illustrious career, including over 120 items.


It is still little known that Bell’s pioneering work was at the forefront of British abstraction and less still her role in creating the conditions in which artistic practice could flourish from the Friday Club to Omega Workshops. The exhibition will include all aspects of her practice across fine and applied art.

Artists featured in this Curation: Vanessa Bell (1879–1961) and Duncan Grant (1885–1978)
42 artworks

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View into a Garden
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council
View into a Garden 1926
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on board
H 70 x W 56 cm
Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council

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Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano

c. 1908

Saxon Sydney-Turner at the Piano c.1908
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 18.5 x W 24 cm
Charleston

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Cornish Cottage
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston

Cornish Cottage

c. 1900

Cornish Cottage c.1900
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on board
H 22.5 x W 17.5 cm
Charleston

1912

Roger Fry
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Roger Fry

Roger Fry 1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on panel
H 29.3 x W 23.6 cm
National Portrait Gallery, London

1912

Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate

Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting

Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting 1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on wood
H 51.1 x W 53 cm
Tate

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Conversation Piece
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: University of Hull Art Collection

Conversation Piece

Conversation Piece 1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on board
H 25 x W 30 cm
University of Hull Art Collection

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Study for Berwick Church: The Shepherd
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)
Study for Berwick Church: The Shepherd 1941
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on wood
H 121 x W 59 cm
RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

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Interior, 8 Fitzroy Street
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)
Interior, 8 Fitzroy Street
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 75 x W 62 cm
RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

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Still Life, Asolo, Italy
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Jerwood Collection
Still Life, Asolo, Italy 1955
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
H 45.7 x W 38.1 cm
Jerwood Collection

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The Toilet of Venus
© Estate of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Image credit: Southampton City Art Gallery
The Toilet of Venus 1929
Duncan Grant (1885–1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 213.4 x W 139.3 cm
Southampton City Art Gallery

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Conversation
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Courtauld
Conversation 1913–1916
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 86.6 x W 81 cm
The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

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Interior
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service
Interior c.1940
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Gouache on board
H 36.5 x W 44 cm
Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

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Landscape
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: Bridgeman Images
Landscape
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 72.8 x W 55.7 cm
The Wilson

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View of an Italian Town through an Archway
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images
View of an Italian Town through an Archway 1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on panel
H 37.5 x W 27 cm
National Trust, Monk's House

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Flowers on a Balcony
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: RWA (Royal West of England Academy)
Flowers on a Balcony 1957
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on board
H 57.5 x W 38.5 cm
RWA (Royal West of England Academy)

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8 Fitzroy Street
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Towner
8 Fitzroy Street
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 65 x W 47 cm
Towner

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Still Life by the Studio Window
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums
Still Life by the Studio Window c.1950
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 68 x W 61 cm
Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums

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The Apse of the Duomo, Pisa
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images
The Apse of the Duomo, Pisa 1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on panel
H 33.5 x W 22.5 cm
National Trust, Monk's House

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Bacchanale
© Estate of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Image credit: Southampton City Art Gallery
Bacchanale 1929
Duncan Grant (1885–1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 213.4 x W 137 cm
Southampton City Art Gallery

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Interior with a Housemaid
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum
Interior with a Housemaid c.1939
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 74 x W 54 cm
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

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Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Trust Images
Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) c.1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on panel
H 55 x W 45 cm
National Trust, Monk's House

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Still Life (Triple Alliance)
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds
Still Life (Triple Alliance) c.1914
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Collage with paper, oil & pastel on canvas
H 81.9 x W 60.3 cm
The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds

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Flowers in a Glass Vase
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery
Flowers in a Glass Vase c.1930
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 75 x W 50.2 cm
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

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Interior with Duncan Grant (1885–1978)
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum
Interior with Duncan Grant (1885–1978) 1934
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 112.2 x W 97.3 cm
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

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Bottles and Jug on a Table
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: National Trust Images
Bottles and Jug on a Table c.1915/1917
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 81.5 x W 62 cm
National Trust, Monk's House

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Portrait of Mrs M.
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Portrait of Mrs M. 1919
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 68.2 x W 56.8 cm
The Fitzwilliam Museum

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Asters and Hydrangeas
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Government Art Collection
Asters and Hydrangeas
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 55 x W 46 cm
Government Art Collection

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Vase and Flowers
© Estate of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Image credit: Southampton City Art Gallery
Vase and Flowers 1929
Duncan Grant (1885–1978) and Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 213.4 x W 91.6 cm
Southampton City Art Gallery

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Abstract Painting
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Tate
Abstract Painting c.1914
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 44.1 x W 38.7 cm
Tate

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Apples
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2023. Image credit: National Trust Images
Apples c.1916/1917
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 52 x W 44.5 cm
National Trust, Monk's House

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Nude with Poppies
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Museum & Art Swindon
Nude with Poppies 1916
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 23.4 x W 42.4 cm
Museum & Art Swindon

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Still Life with a Plaster Head
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
Still Life with a Plaster Head c.1947
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on board
H 53.5 x W 44.5 cm
Charleston

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The Pond at Charleston, East Sussex
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
The Pond at Charleston, East Sussex c.1916
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 29.5 x W 34.8 cm
Charleston

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The Duomo in Lucca, Italy
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
The Duomo in Lucca, Italy c.1949
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 44.5 x W 37 cm
Charleston

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West Pier, Brighton, East Sussex
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
West Pier, Brighton, East Sussex c.1955
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 49.5 x W 37 cm
Charleston

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Self Portrait
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
Self Portrait c.1958
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 45 x W 37 cm
Charleston

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A Girl Reading
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
A Girl Reading c.1932
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 45.5 x W 38 cm
Charleston

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Charleston, East Sussex
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
Charleston, East Sussex c.1950–1955
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 59.4 x W 49 cm
Charleston

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Landscape with Buildings
© estate of Vanessa Bell. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: Charleston
Landscape with Buildings c.1912
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on plywood
H 59 x W 79 cm
Charleston

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Nude
© Tate. Image credit: Tate
Nude c.1922–3
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 81.3 x W 65.4 cm
Tate

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Interior with a Table
© Tate. Image credit: Tate
Interior with a Table 1921
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil on canvas
H 54 x W 64.1 cm
Tate

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David Garnett
© National Portrait Gallery, London. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London
David Garnett 1915
Vanessa Bell (1879–1961)
Oil & gouache on cardboard
H 76.4 x W 52.6 cm
National Portrait Gallery, London