Gluck (Hannah Gluckstein) (1895-1978)
signed 'Gluck' (lower right)
oil on canvas
12 x 14 in. (30.5 x 35.6 cm.)
Painted in 1936.
Peter Langan.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 9 November 1989, lot 64, for £63,800 (including premium).
with Marlborough Fine Art, London, where purchased by the present owner.
Illustrated London News, May 1973, p. 85, illustrated.
The Sunday Times, 14 December 1980, p. 41, illustrated.
R. Hall, The Well of Loneliness, London, 1982, illustrated on the front cover.
Interiors Magazine, November 1982, p. 133, pl. 7.
Hampstead and Highgate Gazette, 14 October 1988.
Observer, 30 October 1988, p. 39, illustrated.
D. Souhami, Gluck her biography, London, 1988, pp. 9, 16-17, 120-125, illustrated twice.
London, Fine Art Society, Gluck, 1937, no. 10.
London, Fine Art Society, Gluck, April - May 1973, no. 27, illustrated.
London, Fine Art Society, Gluck Memorial Exhibition, December 1980 - January 1981, no. 30.

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Bernard Williams

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Lot Essay

Gluck celebrated her intense love affair and 'marriage' with the American socialite, Nesta Obermer, in the present work, a double portrait of the artist and her lover. Gluck called the portrait 'YouWe' and it consoled her through long periods apart while her lover travelled the world with her wealthy husband. She kept the portrait in her studio, enjoying the provocativeness of the intensity of the image of the two women and the relationship it implied (see D. Souhami, op. cit., p. 121-125).

It was later used on the dust jacket of Virago Press's 1982 publication of The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe-Hall's ground-breaking novel of lesbian love, first published in 1928, when it was banned as obscene by the British courts after a dramatic trial.

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