Born in Spitalfields, in London’s East End, Mark Gertler was the son of Polish Jewish immigrants. Encouraged by his parents, he attended art classes at the Regent Street Polytechnic and in 1908, won a national art competition. His success attracted financial assistance that allowed him to enter the Slade School of Art where he studied from1908 to 1912. There he befriended artists including Dora Carrington, with whom he had a brief affair. Gertler exhibited in London up to the 1930s, and acquired several aristocratic patrons most notably, Lady Ottoline Morrell. Suffering from depression for much of his life, Gertler committed suicide in his studio in Highgate, London in 1939 and was buried at the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.
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