Carry On Up the Easel

 

 Its not only the rich who are different. What about artists. A trip to the diamond Dulwich Gallery to see the Slade class of 1910 Carrington Gertler, Spencer, Nevinson, Blomberg and Nash even had an old cynic raising his eyebrows and cracking a crooked smile.

Take bob haired Dora Carrington. Now aint she as cute as a kid with sixpence.Nevinson and Gertler fall love with her ,the life classes were not enough,. They try playing around as a threesome. Carrington wants serious friends and is having no one in her pants. The boys decide they can’t be friends and rivals.In the end  Nevinson  goes off and sulks elsewhere. Gertler  keeps the flame alive in true ,“he would love her till he died” Country and Western style. But Carrington is off and running.  Aldous Huxley  throws his hat and maybe his underpants  in the ring. But still its no Poura from Dora.

She falls in love with  unlikely lanky homosexual,bearded Lytton Strachey. He snatched a kiss on the South Downs.They set up home together.  There are stories that she tries to dress up as a boy to please him .Along pops the very non Bloomsbury, athletic Ralph Partridge who they both fall in love with. Are you paying attention. There will be questions at the end.

But what is Carrington after,” It must be somebody intelligent, somebody with intellectual interests that I can share. And it must be somebody with a proper respect for women, somebody who’s prepared to talk seriously about his work and his ideas and about my work and my ideas. It isn’t, as you see, at all easy to find the right person.”  She is therefore not what might call the sporty type.Her hearts belongs to daddy so its got to be Lytton. But there is a problem. The shirt lifting.

To secure her place in the ménage she  marries Partridge. Virginia Woolf also known for her complicated relationships  saw Strachey and Carrington slope off one afternoon. Everyone thought they were up to a bit of how’s your father. In true Bloomsbury style someone  looked through the key hole and spied them reading Macaulay’s essays together. No doubt  it was the essay  in which the good Whig was so rude about  James Boswell.

Anyway Lytton dies in  January 1932. Despite having taken a shine to his sister, Dora cant hack it without him. She pulls the trigger in March. Gertler hears about it  and gets depressed and  gasses himself seven years later. Just a few month before Woolf  goes  for that last swim in the muddy Ouse.

As I said earlier the  rich may be different ,but  they aint the only ones. We haven’t  mentioned Spencer divorcing his wife for a lesbian and going on  honeymoon with her and her lover! Actually Spencer  the one who saw Jesus   at the boathouse in Cookham is the only one of the  Super Six from the Slade who dies happy. There has to be a moral in there somewhere!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32357038@N08/4599353873/

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