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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Weekly Portrait: Lytton Strachey, reading by (Dora) Carrington, 1916

For this portrait - a quotation from my current read Frances Partridge, the biography by Anne Chisholm

“Their sexual relationship, hardly surprisingly, did not endure; but the intimacy and affection between them was to grow. Lytton was a natural teacher, and Carrington became his devoted and enthusiastic pupil. Together they read English and French history, Shakespeare, the metaphysical poets; above all, she loved to listen to him read his own writing. He encouraged her to work; during 1916 she painted his portrait lying back on a cushion, reading. It is an image of reverence for an intellectual, a bearded, bespectacled man deep in his book; his skin glows and his beautiful translucent hands with their slender fingers are painted with veneration as well as skill”

For more on Anne Chisholm’s excellent writing... watch this blog.

15 comments:

  1. I LOVE the painting - and the quote selected is absolutely perfect.

    I will definitely look forward to reading more of Anne Chisholm's writing :)

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  2. What a beautiful passage. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Have you seen the movie about them called Carrington?

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  4. I've always loved this painting. I think the hands and the way he is holding the book sums up a lot about Strachey--at least as portrayed in the movie Carrington.

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  5. It sounds like they had a marriage of the minds, and you are right, the way the author expresses this sentiment is unusually beautiful.

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  6. Enjoyed this post--lovely in so many ways.

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  7. I will very much look forward to more on this-I was wondering if you or your readers have read Victoria Glendinning recent biography of Leonard Woolf-I would like to do a longish post on the merits of Leonard Woolf verus John Middleton Murray (husband of Katherine Mansfield) as literary husbands-both lived on long after their wives

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  8. It's certainly a beautifully written passage. I also think that it's a perfect quote for the painting.

    The Bloomsbury Group is so fascinating. I must read this biography!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this; painting and words. Such elegant hands...

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  10. I love his hands and the expression on his face. That book looks heavy.

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  11. That portrait gives me a real sense of his character. He looks so studious.

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  12. Looking forward to reading your review of the Frances Partridge biography! Love the weekly portrait idea and they are always so interesting - the kind of portraits that make you want to go and find out more about the subject...

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  13. Oh lovely. I am currently reading Wendy Moffat's biography about E.M. Forster, which mentions Strachey and Carrington. It's nice when things connected to what you are reading feature on other peoples blogs.

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  14. Thanks for your comments all! And it soulds as though, between you, you could add a bit to my Bloomsbury reading list....

    Yes, there is a film called "Carrington" which I have seen and which I really enjoyed - it features Emma Thompson in the title role. Frances Partridge was not 100% pleased with her or Ralph Partridge's presentation in the film.

    Hope that everyone is enjoying their mondays!

    Hannah

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  15. Doesn't it seem like he will just look over in a minute and see we viewers? Oh, how I love that picture. I don't want to see Carrington. I have those people in my mind's eye and don't want any actors to butt in. :<)

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