Object Image

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf (née Stephen) (1882-1941), Novelist and critic; sister of Vanessa Bell.

The portrait was made in 1912 by Woolf's elder sister, Vanessa Bell who shows her sister lounging in an armchair while knitting. Woolf's facial features are blurred, abstracted through the use of bold areas of colour. Yet rather than distancing her, this blurring serves to inject the portrait with a sense of intimacy and highlights the painter's proximity to the sitter.

Oil on board
400.0 x 340.0mm
NPG 5933
Image and text © National Portrait Gallery, 2022

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National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
Permanent collection