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    Sale 7424

    20th Century British Art

    16 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)

    SUMMER and WINTER; Designs for King's College, Cambridge

    Price Realised  


    Vanessa Bell (1879-1961)
    SUMMER and WINTER; Designs for King's College, Cambridge
    each oil on paper and collage
    each 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 61 cm.)
    Executed circa 1950.

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    In 1950 the architect Paul Hyslop commissioned Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant to paint decorations on ceramic tiles for the interior of the Garden Hostel annexe, a building Hyslop designed for King's College, Cambridge. The tiled panels were set into the walls of the entrance, stairwell and corridors (and are still in situ) ready for the opening of the building in 1951. Bell's first designs were female figures representing the Four Seasons (of which the designs for Summer and Winter are offered here). These were rejected by the College on the grounds that undergraduates would find them an irresistible target for graffiti. They were substituted by a series of six smaller decorative still lifes - flowers in a vase in front of parted curtains. Both series share a simplicity of design and boldness of colour akin to some of Bell's earliest decorative projects for the Omega Workshops in 1913-14. Duncan Grant's large panel of a classical youth reading a book by a fountain is in the entrance hall.

    We are very grateful to Richard Shone for providing the catalogue entry for this lot.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium

    Pre-Lot Text



    F. Spalding, Duncan Grant, London, 1997, pp. 410-11.


    London, Spink, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, Design and Decoration 1910-1960, October - November 1991, no. 95 (Winter) and no. 96 (Summer).