A Christmas card designed by Bloomsbury artist Duncan Grant is the earliest one on display in a show of artists’ Christmas cards at Tate Britain through Feb. 1.
Grant’s signed card dates from 1913 and features a “stripey” pattern said to be borrowed from Matisse. But I found the flip side of the card reminiscent of Edvard Munch as well. You can view side one and side two of the card on the Tate’s Web site.
The Art Journal of the Taipei Times has an amusing overview of the Tate Christmas card show that includes images of clever cards from years past. You can also read the same piece, complete with links to additional sources, here.
If you have time, consider taking the Tate’s Bloomsbury Archive Journey offered online. It includes written correspondence among Bloomsbury artists and an audio interview with Grant, friend of Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes. Not knowing that this audio clip existed, listening to it took my breath away.