Valentine Dobree (1894-1974)

Valentine Dobrée (née Gladys May Mabel Brooke-Pechell) emigrated to England from India at the age of three. Despite brief tutelage from André Derain (1880– 1954) being her only formal art education, she enjoyed a successful career as an artist, novelist and poet. 

She married in 1913 and moved with her husband to Florence, returning to England at the beginning of the war where she lived a bohemian existence – becoming associated with the Bloomsbury group and conducting an affair with Mark Gertler. 

Dobrée showed with the LG in 1920 and at the Salon des Indépendants between 1921 and 1925, while living in the French Pyrenees with her husband. In 1926 they moved to Cairo, returning to England in 1929 when her book The Emperor’s Tigers was published. She held her first solo show at the Claridge Gallery in 1931, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts staged an exhibition of her collages in 1963. The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds, held a retrospective exhibition in 2000.

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