'Katherine ('Ka') Cox (1887-1938) was an integral figure in the group of friends around Rupert Brooke called the Neo-Pagans, as well as a close friend of Virginia Woolf, Maynard Keynes and Duncan Grant. For the latter she modelled on several occasions including Seated Woman (1912; Courtauld Gallery) and Katherine Cox (1912; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; 2nd version, private collection, Northern Ireland). This was probably Grant's first painting of her, painted in summer 1911, when she and Grant were guests of Rupert Brooke at Grantchester' (R. Shone, private correspondence, 2001). The sitter's love affair with Rupert Brooke ended in 1912 when she refused to marry him. In 1918 she married Will Arnold-Foster (1885-1951), a painter, and went to live in Cornwall where she settled.
'Ka' Cox was squarely and amply built, short-sighted and dressed unconventionally: 'She chose bright pure colours for her clothes: wore a coloured handkerchief round her hair ... an individual looking woman; derived partly from a John painting' (V. Woolf, Diary. 5, 1984, pp. 143-44). She was also practical, kind, natural in manner and consoling in a crisis: 'To be with her was like sitting in a green field of clover (Frances Cornforth quoted in C. Hassall, Rupert Brooke, 1964, p. 271). Cox was an essential ingredient of the Neo-Pagans (Brooke, Frances and Francis Cornforth, Gwen and Jacques Raverat, and the four Olivier Sisters) and was a willing nude model.
(see R. Shone, The Art of Bloomsbury, Tate Gallery exhibition catalogue, London, 1999, no. 30).