A Bloomsbury pause....

I read a passage in a book and smiled....

I was born at 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. 
The doors of No. 45, No. 47, 
and indeed of all the other houses in the square, 
were black, or if not black, dark grey or a funereal blue. 
The door of No. 46 was a startling bright vermilion. 
The colour had been chosen by my mother, Vanessa; 
she also decorated the interior of the house, 
making use of equally startling colours. 
My father, Clive Bell, was in those days a left-wing radical. 
From an early age I knew that we were odd.  

Written by Quentin Bell 
author of  'Elders and Betters'

His words reminded me
of a bright vermillion door I captured in London...
and I smiled again.

Seeing vermillion in Pimlico.

Vanessa was the mother to Quentin Bell
and the woman behind 
the 'startling bright vermillion' door in Bloomsbury.

Vanessa Bell was the elder sister to Virginal Woolf
and part of the avant-garde Bloomsbury Group. 
A Britsish painter and interior designer, she is best known for
her work at Charleston in Sussex where
she lived with the artist Duncan Grant. Vanessa was married
to Clive Bell with whom she had two children, Julian and Quentin.
As in all the relationships with the Bloomsbury Group...it was complicted.
You can read more about Vanessa Bell here

Self Portrait
By Vanessa Bell

Do not miss this wonderful collection
of paintings by Vanessa Bell,
with a touch of vermillion
and a fantastic jazz beat.
A must see...

Dahlias and Canterbury Bells
By Vanessa Bell

The paragraph above took me in the most interesting direction.
I am loving the journey with still a ways to go...

More on Charleston here


  1. Jeanne,

    I love seeing a post in "Finding my way in England" show up. I am familiar with the Bloomsbury group but I did not remember Vanessa Bell. Now I am going to follow your links and learn more. Beautiful thoughts and paintings.

    Have a beautiful week!

  2. I guess the Virginia and her family will always be a part of me! They catch me everywhere I am in my lifetime. Through books, lessons, paitings, articles, blog posts... :)

  3. I love this post! Thank you for sharing!