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Mark Gertler
Dates: British, 1891 - 1939
Biographical Account:

Mark Gertler was a British painter of portraits, figures and still lifes.

 

He was born in 1891, in Spitalfields, London to Polish parents. The family lived in poverty for many years, moving back to Poland to find work, but finding none they returned to London. Gertler had a talent for drawing from a young age and went to study at Regent Street Polytechnic, but was forced to drop out to begin an apprenticeship at a stained glass company.

 

With a scholarship from the Jewish Education Aid Society, he was able to go to the Slade School of Art, where he was taught by Henry Tonks and Philip Wilson Steer. At Slade he met fellow artists Paul Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson, Stanley Spencer and Dora Carrington. Gertler had an obsession with Carrington and was in love with her for many years.

 

After Slade he continued to paint portraits including many of family members. He was greatly influenced by the post impressionists and became acquainted with the Bloomsbury Group.

 

During the First World War he was a conscientious objector but produced some of his best and most powerful paintings. He aimed ‘to paint a picture in which I hope to express all the sorrow of life'

 

He committed suicide his London studio in 1939.

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