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Dorothy Rendell’s London

March 12, 2019
by the gentle author

As a prelude to my lecture about The Life & Works of Dorothy Rendell (1923-2018) this Thursday 14th at Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts and the opening of Dorothy’s Rendell’s posthumous solo show this Saturday 16th March at Abbott & Holder, I am publishing this selection of her drawings, seen publicly for the first time today. Click here for tickets for my lecture.

After I picked these drawings, I realised they told the story of Dorothy’s life in London from her art school days in Soho, via her studio in South Kensington, to her job at Harry Gosling School and her home in Mile End Place.

When Dorothy was a student at St Martin’s School of Art in the postwar years, she was fascinated by this view of Frith St, Soho, where men gathered to read prostitutes cards in the newsagents window and she drew the same scene several times from her vantage point of a first floor window across the road.

Frith St

Frith St

Frith St

Old Compton St with Bar Italia in the background

Shepherd Market

Shepherd Market

Shepherd Market

Shepherd Market

‘The Reading Room’

Art School Dance

Art School Model

Dorothy invited the Carl Lewis Quartet to practice in her studio in South Kensington that had formerly belonged to Jacob Epstein

Teaching at Harry Gosling School

In the art room

Mile End Place

Self-portrait by Dorothy Rendell

Drawings copyright © The Estate of Dorothy Rendell

You may also like to read about

An Exhibition of Dorothy Rendell

The Legacy of Dorothy Rendell

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Jill Wilson permalink
    March 12, 2019

    Fantastic drawings, full of London life!

  2. Lynn Roffee permalink
    March 12, 2019

    What a fabulous set of drawings. How very sad Dorothy didn’t get the recognition that she so richly deserved until now. Those drawings are full of life and detail.

  3. March 12, 2019

    Thank you for sharing these delightful drawings with us and for giving Dorothy the recognition she rightly deserves.

  4. Richard Smith permalink
    March 12, 2019

    Superb drawings and paintings that speak volumes about Dorothy Rendell’s work. I hope her work lives on for a very long time. Thank you GA.

  5. Rupert Bumfrey permalink
    March 12, 2019

    Dorothy’s life has slight echoes with my Aunt Dorothy’s early life!

    A child of the Victorian era & a privileged life from her wealthy Father, she was allowed to go to art school in London during WW1, living in a flat in Bayswater overlooking Hyde Park.

    However, as her brothers were conscripted she joined up as a Nursing Assistant, eventually ending up as my Grandfather’s personal nurse as he recovered from a broken back, following an accident with a church steeple and his plane! (1918)

    She never resumed her art studies and infrequently reminisced over those times.

    Thankfully times have changed and there are more opportunities for people to pursue their vocations in the arts in 21st Century.

  6. Diana Levey permalink
    March 12, 2019

    She’s a wonderful artist! Thank you for all you’re doing to bring this very talented person’s work to the world’s attention. And for your determination and skills to educate and promote your many interests and projects to a larger audience!

  7. Eric Forward permalink
    March 12, 2019

    I agree with Diana on both counts. Moments in time captured. Would love to know the date for the Mile End Place painting. Mind you, stepping into that street is like going back in time even now.

  8. jenny atkins permalink
    March 12, 2019

    I worked for a film company in Carlisle Street just off Soho Square in the 1970’s. Soho was a delight in those days. Brewer Street market, Randall and Aubin the French butchers sold the most wonderful Toulouse sausages. Helena was still at Bianchi’s in Frith Street opposite Ronnie Scotts. Gaston at the French Pub and off course a Monique gave French lessons 1st floor! There were still several workman’s cafs where you had the best bacon and egg sarnies and a small Jewish cafe where I had my first warm pastrami on rye. Or you could go to Cranks for veggie delights or the Japanese Steakhouse, Wheelers, I could go on……..they were the days.

  9. Yvonne Kolessides permalink
    March 13, 2019

    Absolutely wonderful, as always..
    Thank you!

  10. Hugh Mann permalink
    March 15, 2019

    Great drawings of a vanished London. The demographics of Harry Gosling school have changed utterly – I wonder where the children pictured are now? Australia? Norfolk?

    I love novels and children’s books from the postwar decades – they show a safe and orderly world that existed right up to the 1960s, a world you can only find now in remote rural areas (or outside the UK in places like Iceland or Japan).

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