Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.115.
Exhibited: La Biennale di Venezia, 1930, catalogue no. 136.
Joyce Peters was a dancer and associated with the Bloomsbury Group. A life-long friend of Gilbert Spencer she helped him secure a number of portrait commissions.
This portrait was exhibited in the British Pavilion at the 1930 Venice Biennale, after Sir Ronald Graham the British Ambassador to Italy had successfully argued that Britain’s absence from the Biennale would be interpreted as a “sign of national indifference to art”. P.G. Konody, who had campaigned tirelessly through the 1920s, was still part of of the Pavilion organising committee, alongside other ongoing members Lady Cunard and Sir Joseph Duveen, as well as several others.
Ninety seven British artists were on view at the Pavilion in that year. This included Gilbert Spencer, as well as his older brother, Stanley. It also featured names such as Henry Moore, David Bomberg, Ethel Walker, and Gerald Leslie Brockhurst.
We are grateful to Glyn Hopkins for assistance.