Thursday, 17 August 2017

Medallion, 1937
Happened on an interesting BBC documentary which I almost ignored thinking it was about Gluck, the composer, but it turned out to be about Gluck, the cross-dressing society artist who was the lover of Constance Spry. And that's why her name (Hannah Gluckstein, butshe only answered to Gluck) sounded vaguely familiar, from this very readable biography from a few years ago. 
Of course, I recognised her most famous work, the self-portrait (with another lover) that was the cover 
of the Virago edition of The Well of Loneliness. It must be 40 years since I was bored to tears by The Well of Loneliness; I wonder if I'd at least be more interested by it today? Well, it's still up there on the shelf because I'm not one to part with a Virago, even one I disliked. Anyway, those covers were an art education in themselves; today's Viragos look so insipid beside them. 

Of course, the self-portrait is immensely striking. But I think I prefer the stunning white flowers that she painted while she was with Constance Spry. Wouldn't this look stunning in a fashionable all-white drawing room? 

Lilac and Guelder Rose


Gina said...

I absolutely love that portrait. Not someone I am familiar with so thank you!

Mary said...

It's very powerful, isn't it, Gina. Gluck is the one in the foreground; it's quite telling that the other woman eventually let her down, or at least decided to stay with her very wealthy husband.