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Updated Up To 23/01/2015
Volume 9, Issue 1 (June 2011) : 95-109
Studland Beach and Jacob’s Room
Vanessa Bell’s and Virginia Woolf’s Experiments in Portrait Making 1910–1922
Justyna Kostkowska
Rubric A: Literature and the Visual Arts
Rubric B: Women Writers



This essay examines Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room in terms of post-impressionist influences of Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell. It demonstrates compositional similarities between Bell’s painting Studland Beach and Woolf’s novel. Both works use formal design to elicit elegiac emotion in the audience.  Jacob’s Room is Woolf’s first novel that exemplifies her attention to design as a vehicle for emotion, the idea to which she had been exposed by Vanessa Bell’s and other Post-Impressionist paintings since 1910.

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