Born in 1919, Lionel Bulmer was the third and youngest child of an architect. From the start he was taught to look. At 17 he went to Clapham art school, where he spent two happy years before conscription into the army on the outbreak of world war two. Even that block to so many careers was not wholly wasted for this fledgling artist, who still drew and painted in free time. On being demobbed he returned full-time to his artistic calling, and was accepted by a Royal College of Art still dislodged to Ambleside in the Lake District. This was a ravishing revelation. And here he found his lasting place – beside another person. This was Margaret Green.
Her looks, talent, bearing and velvet voice wrought havoc among classmates already smitten by an escape from war into that Wordsworthian setting. “She was the full femme fatale,” one was to recall six decades later. But from their first meeting Margaret and Lionel had the mutual attraction of two magnets. Soon they were inseparable and, working side by side on sketching trips and on paintings back in the college studio, they set the pattern of shared contentment that would last until the male partner’s death in 1992.
[Oil on canvassed board, 122 x 156.6 cm]