Virginia Woolf at The National Portrait Gallery

virginiaOn a recent visit into London I popped into the Virginia Woolf exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. This is the first exhibition of its kind, Woolf is known for her writing so an exhibition at the portrait gallery was always going to be an interesting proposition which is executed remarkably well.

The works are displayed in such a way that you can but only get swept up upon the history and lives surround the Bloomsbury Set, one of my favourite periods of time – between the wars – and in particular the set that lived amongst the delightful squares of London, Bloomsbury, Gordon, Russell and so forth.

Woolf brilliantly kept a diary, actually of course she did. She was an avid writer, and thankfully her diary collected and published so we can all read it. I came away  purchasing ‘A Room of One’s Own’ and can’t believe I had never read it … Since starting it I am finding it a tough book and must persevere.

The exhibition contains first editions and a superb collection of paintings by her peers and a few by Woolf, many sketches and letters. The letters are incredible, take your reading glasses as you will need to steep in and take time to understand the passion between the scribers.

The personal life of Virginia and Vita Sackville West and Virginia and Lytton Strachey are described with letters and paintings and the love between Leonard and Vita is effervescent.

It is an exceptionally gorgeous exhibition, on until October. Do try to pop in to see the show. Let me know what you think of it.