Vanessa Bell was born Vanessa Stephen in 1879. She was educated at home at Hyde Park Gate, before taking drawing lessons and then attending an art school. She then went on to study painting at the
After the death of her parents she sold Hyde Park Gate and moved to
She married Clive Bell in 1907 with whom she had an open marriage, therefore she took a number of lovers including Roger Fry and Duncan Grant.
Vanessa, Clive, Duncan Grant and Duncan's lover David Garnett moved to Charleston Farmhouse shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, where she and Grant painted and worked on commissions for the Omega Workshops established by Roger Fry.