Painting on every available surface, at Charleston House






Last weekend I headed to Charleston House, it was the home of Vanessa Bell an artist and member of the Bloomsbury group. Almost as soon as she and Duncan moved into the house, they began to paint, not just on canvas, but over every available surface. The usual walls, but also tables, chairs, bedheads and bookcases; all glowed with swirls and spirals of colour and pattern, full of life and playfulness. Their house was an escape from the conventional and restrictive Edwardian world in the UK at the time.



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I can only try to evoke the impression I got on first entering the hall as a visitor the strong feeling of life being intensely and purposefully lived, of animated talk, laughter, brilliant colour everywhere, youth. - Francis Partridge

 'Bloomsbury paints in circles, lives in squares and loves in triangles.' - Dorothy Parker

"The house seems full of young people in very high spirits, laughing a great deal at their own jokes ... lying about in the garden which is simply a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples." - Vanessa Bell

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'It will be an odd life, but…it ought to be a good one for painting,' - Vanessa Bell 


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