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Gwen John

Gwen John

   •   Unclassified artists   •   Wikipedia: Gwen John
72 Discovered works of art  •  ID: #2184
Gwendolen Mary John was born in Wales, the daughter of a grumpy lawyer and a mother who was ill at home due to illness. So did her aunts, members of the Christian Free Church of the Salvation Army, to Gwen, her sister and her two brothers. All children were encouraged in their artistic gifts, but the mother died very early, when Gwen was just eight years old. Then the family moved within Wales, in the coastal town of Tenby Gwen often sketched seagulls and gulls, but Gwen's oldest surviving work dates back to 1895, when she was 19 years old.

Gwen attended the only art school in the United Kingdom where women were admitted, the school was based on French methods. Under the influential cartoonist and art professor Henry Tonks , she learned to draw figures, lived together with her brother Augustus and is said to have only eaten by nuts and fruits for cost reasons. Through her brother, she met other, later influential artists, including his wife Ida Nettleship and the portrait artist Arthur Ambrose McEvoy . Her brother's drawing skills and attitudes overshadowed the retarded sister, even though she admired her work. Gwen traveled to Paris where she studied at James McNeill Whistler's Academy, and on her return she exhibited her works for the first time at the New English Art Club. Financial successes were missing, so that the young Gwen even had to live as a squatter in run-down buildings. She returned to France and worked as a model. That's how she met her lover, the much older sculptor Auguste Rodin , one of the best-known artists of the time. Not only him, but also Matisse, Picasso and Rainer Maria Rilke stayed at the time in the French capital. John moved to a Parisian suburb and worked in spite of many important acquaintances, preferably in seclusion. After the end of her affair, she increasingly devoted herself to the Catholic faith. As a model she no longer had to be active, in art collector John Quinn she found her main patron. Because of her perfectionism she largely renounced exhibitions, but one of her works found her way to the Armory Show in New York. Her later works mainly include portraits of unknown women, sitting with her hands in her lap. Her only solo exhibition was in London, and before that she had shown works in the famous Paris Autumn Salon. She died in 1939, and she said she had starved herself to death.

While she was in the shadow of her brother during her lifetime, they define today's critics as the more talented of the two. Many of her works can be found in the National Museum Cardiff and Tate Britain © Meisterdrucke


A Corner of the Artist's Room, P...
Undated | Oil on canvas

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A Corner of the Artist's Room, P...
0 | Oil on canvas

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Self Portrait, Naked, Sitting on...
Undated | pencil and watercolour on paper

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Self Portrait, Naked, Sitting on...
0 | pencil and watercolour on paper

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Undated | watercolour on paper

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Portrait of the Artist's Sister,...
Undated | Oil on canvas

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Portrait of the Artist's Sister,...
0 | Oil on canvas

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Cat Sleeping on a Red Cushion (g...
Undated | gouache and pencil on paper

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Cat Sleeping on a Red Cushion (g...
0 | gouache and pencil on paper

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A Study of Rodin's Danaid in his...
Undated | charcoal on paper

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A Study of Rodin's Danaid in his...
0 | charcoal on paper

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Undated | Brush on paper

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Portrait study of August Rodin (...
Undated | watercolour and pencil on paper

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Portrait study of August Rodin (...
0 | watercolour and pencil on paper

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Young girl: Marie Hamonet, c.191...
1918 | charcoal and blue wash on paper

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Young girl: Marie Hamonet, c.191...
1918 | charcoal and blue wash on paper

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Undated | watercolour on paper

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0 | watercolour on paper

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Mere Poussepin, 1920
1920 | Oil on canvas

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Mere Poussepin, 1920
1920 | Oil on canvas

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Undated | pencil and watercolour on paper

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0 | pencil and watercolour on paper

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Undated | gouache and watercolour on paper

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Undated | Oil on canvas

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Portrait Group, 1897-98 (pencil,...
Undated | pencil, pen and watercolour on paper

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Portrait Group, 1897-98 (pencil,...
0 | pencil, pen and watercolour on paper

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Welsh: Y LleianThe Nun study
Undated |

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Welsh: Y LleianThe Nun study
0 |

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Undated | watercolour on paper

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0 | watercolour on paper

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Undated | gouache on paper

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Girl with Large Hat and Straw-Co...
Undated | watercolour, gouache and graphite on paper

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Girl with Large Hat and Straw-Co...
0 | watercolour, gouache and graphite on paper

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1910 | Ink on paper

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1910 | Ink on paper

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Undated | pencil on paper

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1915 | Oil on cardboard

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1915 | Oil on cardboard

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Seated Girl (Marie Hamonet?) (ch...
Undated | charcoal, grey wash and bodycolour on grey paper

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Seated Girl (Marie Hamonet?) (ch...
0 | charcoal, grey wash and bodycolour on grey paper

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Girls in a Church (gouache und w...
Undated | gouache and watercolour on paper

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Girls in a Church (gouache und w...
0 | gouache and watercolour on paper

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A Study of Rodin's Kiss in his S...
Undated | charcoal on paper

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A Study of Rodin's Kiss in his S...
0 | charcoal on paper

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Standing Girl with wooden post i...
Undated | pencil and wash on paper

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Standing Girl with wooden post i...
0 | pencil and wash on paper

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Undated | pencil and watercolour on paper

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0 | pencil and watercolour on paper

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Undated | watercolour on paper

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Chapeaux aux Brides (wc on paper)
Undated | watercolour on paper

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Chapeaux aux Brides (wc on paper)
0 | watercolour on paper

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Young Nun
Undated | Oil on canvas

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Young Nun
0 | Oil on canvas

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Girl"s Head,
Undated |

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La Concierge, 1922-24
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Petit Profile, c.1920
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