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 Dorothy Hepworth  (1898 - 1978)

About: Dorothy Hepworth
 

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom      Known for: portrait, figure, still life and landscape painting

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Girl Resting
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions London:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Though hugely respected and admired during her lifetime, Dorothy Hepworth continues to hold a somewhat peripheral position as regards the artists of the Edwardian period.

Graduating with first class honors from the Slade, in 1918 she encountered the forceful and charismatic Patricia Preece who was to become her lifelong companion.  After a stint in Paris they moved back to England in 1925, moving to Cookham two years later where they met Stanley Spencer.  The 'menage a trois' that developed between these three artists is one of the most scandalous but well-chronicled relationships of the Bloomsbury Group of Edwardian painters.  In fact, to reinforce the entanglement of these artists, Hepworth allowed some of her work to be exhibited and sold as original work by Preece.  Perhaps this explains why Hepworth`s career failed to live up to its early promise.  Spencer became obsessed with the flirtatious Preece, and he showered her with gifts.  She persuaded him to divorce his first wife and to sign his house over to her, finally marrying him in 1937 though she did not leave Hepworth and refused to have sexual relations with him.  She eventually evicted Spencer from the house, and would not grant him a divorce, but continued to receive payments from him.  After he was knighted in 1959, she insisted on being styled Lady Spencer and claimed a pension as his widow.

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