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The Great British Art Tour: a floral gift from a generous and tragic giver | Art

This ethereal canvas hangs in a instructing room on the Royal Academy of Music, the place it vies for area with works by Chagall, Pissarro and Miró.

Vase de Fleurs (H18 x W13 cm) by Marie Laurencin.
Vase de Fleurs (H18 x W13 cm) by Marie Laurencin. {Photograph}: ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021

Marie Laurencin was one of many few feminine artists of the Paris avant garde related to cubism, and was a shut good friend of Georges Braque. She was additionally a theatre set and costume designer and society portraitist. She lived her life uncompromisingly – a passionate relationship with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, a failed marriage to a German baron, and many affairs with males and girls. Her use of amorphous feminine imagery and illustrations of Sappho’s poetry mirror a fascination with lesbianism, which was rooted in her rejection of social conventions. Her work is characterised by pastel colors and a daring feminine aesthetic, however she was missed in her time as a pioneering modernist.

This portray is a part of a giant assortment bequeathed by Harriet Cohen, an alumna of the Academy and a virtuoso pianist. A situation of her gift was that the works all cling collectively in a room devoted to composer Sir Arnold Bax. Cohen was recognized for her interpretation of JS Bach and as a champion of latest English music; many composers wrote for her. She was linked with many high-profile personalities within the Thirties and 40s, beloved entertaining and grew to become a prolific artwork collector.

Cohen, who was Jewish, championed the reason for refugees earlier than and throughout the second world struggle and raised funds for these fleeing Nazi Germany. However her private life was marred by tragedy; she had a doomed, life-long romance with Bax, and in 1948 she reduce her proper hand so badly in an accident that she was unable to play the piano. After a wrestle taking part in items for the left hand, she retired from efficiency a quick time earlier than her loss of life.

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Harriet Cohen (1895-1967) at the piano, c1930.
Harriet Cohen (1895-1967) on the piano, circa 1930. {Photograph}: Sasha/Getty Photos

Cohen’s legacy means college students are surrounded by lovely artworks as they examine, and displaying them in a working area slightly than a gallery creates a heady mix of visible and aural inspiration.

You possibly can see extra artwork from the Royal Academy of Music on Art UK here, and discover out extra on the Academy’s website.

This sequence is dropped at you in collaboration with Art UK, which brings the nation’s artwork collectively on one digital platform and tells the tales behind the artwork. The web site exhibits works by 50,000 artists from greater than 3,000 venues together with museums, universities and hospitals in addition to hundreds of public sculptures. Uncover the artwork you personal here.

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