As stubborn as she was gifted, as fierce as she was tender, and notorious for her mannish dress that was provocative and chic in equal measure, Gluck was an artist and a rebel. Born Hannah Gluckstein in 1895 into the family that founded the J. Lyons & Co. catering company, she had passionate affairs with society women such as Constance Spry and exhibited her portraits, flower paintings and landscapes in ‘one man’ shows that captivated the beau monde of the 1920s and 30s. But Gluck’s success was never unmixed with controversy: at the height of her fame she stopped working, caught in a bitter campaign over the quality of artists’ materials, and her personal life was rarely less than torrid. In Gluck Diana Souhami captures this paradoxical, talented and unusual woman in all her complexity.
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