Vanessa Bell, Study for Berwick Church - The Shepherd
Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)
Study for Berwick Church - The Shepherd
oil on wood
purchased at the Royal West of England Academy Spring Exhibition, 1966
In 1916 Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and her husband, Clive, moved to the Charleston Farmhouse at the foot of the Downs, which was three miles to the west of Berwick Church. Bell worked with Duncan Grant to create murals for Berwick Church in Sussex from 1940-1942. The tradition of decorating churches with paintings had been lost in Britain during the Reformation, so they wanted to revive the tradition. Religion and belief gives people hope and support in the darkest of times. This is clearly displayed in this piece through the use of the gleaming lamp in an otherwise dark colour palette.
RWA Collection © Estate of Vanessa Bell courtesy Henrietta Garnett. Photo © RWA (Royal West of England Academy)