Considered by many to be Gertler’s masterpiece, Merry-Go- Round encapsulates the artist’s hatred of war and the tension created by his relationship with the painter Dora Carrington. It was also Gertler’s response, using a vibrant colour scheme, to his dissatisfaction with English Post- Impressionism, which he considered too refined and sweet for the times.
189.2 x 142.2 cm
Oil paint on canvas
Date of work
Mark Gertler ( 1891 – 1939), born in Spitalfields, London, was a British painter of figure subjects, portraits and still-life. Brought up in severe poverty, Gertler's path into the world of painting began when he discovered WP Frith’s Autobiography in a secondhand bookshop.
He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art where he met and fell in love with the painter Dora Carrington, the subject of which became the inspiration for Gilbert Cannan's novel Mendel
, and the characters of Loerke in D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love
and Gombauld in Aldous Huxley's Crome Yellow
were based on him. Despite his connection with the Bloomsbury Group, Gertler had limited critical success in his lifetime. Following recurring ill health and the breakdown of his marriage, he took his own life in 1939.