Gavin Bone was an undergraduate at St John’s College, Oxford, matriculating in 1925 and graduating with First Class Honours in 1928. Shortly after, Bone was elected a Fellow of the College in 1931 and began to lecture for the University and tutor St John’s undergraduates (most famously these included Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis) until his premature death from chronic illness on 8 April 1942, aged 34. From records of his academic engagement during his lifetime (such as his publications, essays and lecture notes), Bone’s specialism was later Medieval and Early Modern verse. Yet, after his death there were published two volumes of Old English poetic translations: Anglo-Saxon Poetry (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1943) and Beowulf (Oxford: Blackwell, 1945). Bone had published some of his translations in his lifetime, but it is clear that in the final years of his life he was passionately occupied with transforming poetry from previous millennium into bold and willful contempo- rary poems. His Beowulf is accompanied by striking illustrations of key events from the epic poem’s narrative, and these attest to Bone’s own talent as a visual artist among a family of professional draughtsmen and painters and his lifelong relationship to the arts. The present oil painting shows Bone, aged between 18 and 20, in his undergraduate rooms at St John’s, surrounded by indicators of his great loves: multiple bookcases packed with a great many volumes; and walls abundant in framed illustrations. Two maps feature among them: to the right is a map of the British Isles, li- kely to remind him of his much-loved Scottish family heritage, and more central is a map of Spain, where he and his family often tra- velled. A flute is laid out on the table, which Bone was known to play. The picture above the fireplace appears to show a bouquet of flowers, and a vase of flowers appears on the mantle next to it. Or- chids were another lifelong interest of Bone’s, and his illustrations of orchids (completed by his father and brother) would be pos- thumously published as The Wild Orchids of Great Britain in 1950 alongside commentary from his childhood friend and novelist Jo- celyn Brooke. This intricately detailed setting of Gavin Bone thus encapsulates many of the prominent aspects of Bone’s tragically short but vibrant and fruitful life.