British painter and designer Vanessa Bell was the older sister of Virginia Woolf and a member of the so-called Bloomsbury Group as was Duncan Grant. This work, which shows Vanessa Bell painting a still life of kitchen utensils, was executed in a boat-house on the Sussex coast in the early summer of 1915 (the date inscribed on the canvas, 1913, is incorrect). Grant painted many pictures of Vanessa Bell from 1912 to 1960. The bright colours of this painting are typical of his pre-war work. Bell lived with Grant from 1916 and gave birth to their daughter in 1918 .