Clive Bell by Bassano Ltd, 7 March 1921.
National Portrait Gallery. Licenced under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

Clive Bell


Clive Bell (1881–1964), author and critic of art who was contemporary at Cambridge with Lytton Strachey and Leonard Woolf, was at the centre of both the domestic interminglings and the aesthetic ideals and artistic endeavours of the Bloomsbury circle. He married in 1907 the artist Vanessa Stephen (1879–1961); and while she went on to share her life from 1915 with the artist Duncan Grant, Bell took as his mistress, Mary Hutchinson. With Roger Fry, he mounted the first Post-Impressionist exhibition at the Grafton Galleries, London; and in later years he resided for much of the time in France, where he cultivated friendships with Picasso and other artists. He was influential as an art critic for the Nation and the New Statesman; his books include Art (1914); Since Cézanne (1922); Civilization: An Essay (1928), Proust (1928); and Old Friends (1956), which includes a kind account of TSE. See too Bloomsbury (1968), by his son Quentin Bell; Frances Spalding, Vanessa Bell (1983); James Beechey, Clive Bell (2000); and Mark Hussey, Clive Bell and the Making of Modernism (2021).