Thursday: VERSO

Verso: 1a. the left-hand page of an open book. b. the back of a printed leaf of paper or manuscript (opp. recto) 2. the reverse of a coin.

As much reading as I do, you’d think I never have to look up words. Especially simple ones like ‘verso.’ Hmph! But sometimes the name of a painting gives unexpected insight and I realized this could be a case like that.

Duncan Grant lived off and on with fellow painter Vanessa Bell as lover and friend. Bell and Grant had a daughter together; the daughter married one of Grant’s male lovers. Oh the tangled webs they wove!

Grant painted Bell a number of times and when I came across this piece of work I thought it was her and it struck me that it’s obvious how tenderly he feels toward her. This I deduced from the back of her neck and the tilt of her head and the lovability of her back and shoulders.

While making a copy I learned that it’s not Vanessa Bell but their daughter Angelica.

Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978; Lady at an Easel

 

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