Request a high resolution copy

Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Florence Bell

Reference code
Gertrude Bell
Lady Florence Bell
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope

Palazzo Gritti Thursday Dearest Mother. Caroline writes today from Florence [Firenze] where they have been detained by Mrs Talbot's being ill. I have proposed that I should join her there on the 18th and if the Talbots are going home, we two will go on to Perugia together; if not I expect I shall come home. I told her to telegraph if that suits her and I will let you know tomorrow. Mrs Green and I propose leaving here on Monday for Ferrara, Ravenna etc. I will send you definite addresses tomorrow. I sent Caroline's letter to Papa at Milan [Milano] - this is in case it has not reached him in time. I stamped my letters to him wildly - today I remembered I had only put on a stamp of 10 centesimi so I'm afraid he had to pay 20 - I'm so sorry. We went to the Marciana today with Madame Wiel and saw the Grimani Breviary, a book illuminated in Holland in the 16th century - quite gorgeously beautiful. They say there is not such another in the world and I can well Bellieve it. Afterwards Mrs G. and I went out in a gondola and saw the sun set behind the Euganean Hills - a very lovely evening and quite warm. She is a great dear, but too too desirous of information! She can't look at things peacefully, she wants to know everything about everything. She feels Italian art to be very overpowering - and so should I or anyone who took it so seriously. I think it's rather nonsense - for one can't really know as a professional knows and why bother oneself? Besides I don't like things because they are so and so, but because I like them. You understand me?! There came a lady to me today when I was looking at Titian's Assumption and said "Pardon me is that the Assumption?" "Yes" says I. "Ah" says she "I thought it looked like it. Now I know a Nativity and I know an Ascension but what is an Assumption? Is it that they assume her to be filled with the Holy Ghost?" I was much pleased. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

IIIF Manifest