Muses

Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941)

Born in an artistic and intellectual environment, the daughter of a Pre-Raphaelite muse and of an eminent editor, Virginia Woolf began writing for the Times Literary Supplement in 1900 before publishing her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1915. A member of the Bloomsbury Group alongside her husband and her sister, the author who had founded the Hogarth Press with her husband led an avant-garde, free-spirited and independent existence affirmed by her homosexual relationship with Vita Sackville-West. Fuelled by severe bouts of mental illness, Virginia Woolf rapidly became the leader of a creative feminine and intimate psychological literature with such novels as Mrs Dalloway, in 1925 or Orlando, in 1928 that inspire contemporary feminists. At the beginning of World War II, the author saw her home destructed by the Blitz and her last work, coldly received. Therefore fragile, Virginia Woolf decided to fill her pockets with stones and walked into a river – drowning in a romantic Ophelia-like way. Although the author is always linked to the idea of melancholy, suicide and mental illness, she surely remains the extraordinary storyteller of women's emotions - ‘The truth is, I often like women. I like their unconventionality. I like their completeness. I like their anonymity.' She also inspires some androgynous fashion trends embodied by the song writer and poet Patti Smith, Ann Demeulemeester’s style or Charlotte Gainsbourg’s.

Tags / Virginia Woolf - English Author - Literature - Muses - It Women - 1930s - Mental - Femininity
Virginia and Leonard Woolf, 1912, This photograph was taken at Dalingridge Place, the Sussex home of Virginia’s half-brother George Duckworth
Virginia and Leonard Woolf, 1912, This photograph was taken at Dalingridge Place, the Sussex home of Virginia’s half-brother George Duckworth
Gisèle Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1939 © Estate Gisèle Freund / IMEC Images
Gisèle Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1939 © Estate Gisèle Freund / IMEC Images
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1902
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1902
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1902
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1902
Francis Dodd, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, chalk, 1908
Francis Dodd, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, chalk, 1908
Vanessa Bell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, oil on board, 1912
Vanessa Bell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, oil on board, 1912
Ramsey & Muspratt, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Garnett, 1932 © Peter Lofts Photography
Ramsey & Muspratt, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Garnett, 1932 © Peter Lofts Photography
Ramsey & Muspratt, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Garnett, 1932 © Peter Lofts Photography
Ramsey & Muspratt, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Garnett, 1932 © Peter Lofts Photography
Gisèle Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Leonard Sidney Wolf, 1939 © Estate Gisèle Freund / IMEC Images
Gisèle Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Leonard Sidney Wolf, 1939 © Estate Gisèle Freund / IMEC Images
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Sir Leslie Stephen, 1902
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Sir Leslie Stephen, 1902
Noel Olivier, Maitland Radford, Virginia Woolf and Rupert Brooke 1911
Noel Olivier, Maitland Radford, Virginia Woolf and Rupert Brooke 1911
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1917
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1917
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1917
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1917
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1917
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1917
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf and Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, June 1923
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf and Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson, June 1923
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1923
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1923
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, 1924
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, 1924
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1924
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1924
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Philip Edward Morrell, 1926
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Philip Edward Morrell, 1926
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Sir Maurice Bowra and Virginia Woolf, 1926
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Sir Maurice Bowra and Virginia Woolf, 1926
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1926
Lady Ottoline Morrell, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1926
Barbara Strachey, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1938
Barbara Strachey, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1938
Barbara Strachey, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1938
Barbara Strachey, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1938
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Sir Leslie Stephen, 1902
George Charles Beresford, Portrait of Virginia Woolf and Sir Leslie Stephen, 1902
Gisèle Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1939 © Estate Gisèle Freund / IMEC Images
Gisèle Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1939 © Estate Gisèle Freund / IMEC Images
TIME Magazine Cover: Virginia Woolf, April 12, 1937, photo by Man Ray
TIME Magazine Cover: Virginia Woolf, April 12, 1937, photo by Man Ray
Julia Stephen with Virginia on her lap 1884
Julia Stephen with Virginia on her lap 1884
Virginia Woolf at Garsington, 1923
Virginia Woolf at Garsington, 1923
Maurice Beck And Helen Macgregor, Portrait of Virginia Woolf for Vanity Fair, 1924
Maurice Beck And Helen Macgregor, Portrait of Virginia Woolf for Vanity Fair, 1924
Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1927
Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1927
Portrait of Vanessa Bell, 1925
Portrait of Vanessa Bell, 1925
Man Ray, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1935
Man Ray, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1935
Maurice Beck And Helen Macgregor, Portrait of Virginia Woolf for Vanity Fair, 1924
Maurice Beck And Helen Macgregor, Portrait of Virginia Woolf for Vanity Fair, 1924
Lenare, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1929
Lenare, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1929
Lettice Ramsay, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1932
Lettice Ramsay, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1932
Lettice Ramsay, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1932
Lettice Ramsay, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1932
Virginia with her parents at Talland House in Cornwall in 1892
Virginia with her parents at Talland House in Cornwall in 1892
Virginia in Cornwall in 1916
Virginia in Cornwall in 1916
Virginia Woolf and nephew Julian Bell in 1910
Virginia Woolf and nephew Julian Bell in 1910
Maurice Beck And Helen MacGregor, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1925
Maurice Beck And Helen MacGregor, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1925
Vita Sackville-West, Photo of Virginia Woolf with Leonard in 1926
Vita Sackville-West, Photo of Virginia Woolf with Leonard in 1926
Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, photo taken by Leonard Woolf, 1933
Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, photo taken by Leonard Woolf, 1933
Man Ray, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1934
Man Ray, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1934
Virginia Woolf, 1931
Virginia Woolf, 1931
Virginia Woolf, 1924/ 1927
Virginia Woolf, 1924/ 1927
Virginia Woolf, 1930
Virginia Woolf, 1930
Virginia Woolf, 1928
Virginia Woolf, 1928
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925) Dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925) Dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (1939) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Between the Acts (1939) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room (1922) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room (1922) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader (1925) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader (1925) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Leonard and Viginia Woolf, Two Stories (1917)
Leonard and Viginia Woolf, Two Stories (1917)
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Kew gardens (1919) with illustrations by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Kew gardens (1919) with illustrations by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Monday or Tuesday (March, 1921) Cover design and woodcut illustrations by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Monday or Tuesday (March, 1921) Cover design and woodcut illustrations by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1924) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown (1924) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry (1940). Cover design and portrait of Roger Fry by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry (1940). Cover design and portrait of Roger Fry by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader Second Series (1932) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader Second Series (1932) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth (1942) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Death of the Moth (1942) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Years (1937) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, The Years (1937) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (1938) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (1938) Cover design by Vanessa Bell
Virginia Woolf, 1920's
Virginia Woolf, 1920's
Virginia Woolf and Clive Bell, 1920's
Virginia Woolf and Clive Bell, 1920's
Virginia Woolf, 1920's
Virginia Woolf, 1920's
close

Share this picture on