Gwen John (1876-1936, British)

Gwen John Self-Portrait Oil on Canvas 1902 Tate Britain

Gwen John
Self-Portrait
Oil on Canvas
1902
Tate Britain

Gwen John was solitary, introverted and creative.  Born in Haverfordwest, Wales, her father was a lawyer and her mother an artist.  Her father became so grief stricken when her mother died that he quit his job and became a recluse.  At age eight, John had lost her mother but continued to live with her siblings and father in a loveless home.  She became interested in art along with her brother, Augustus John, at a young age and attended various art schools.  Her love of art landed her in France in 1904.  Soon she met and fell in love with, perhaps the most famous artist of the time, the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, there after becoming both his model and one of his mistresses.  Their love affair was intense proven by the more than 2,000 letters that she wrote to him.  Rodin introduced her to many famous artists of the time:  Pablo Picasso, George Barque, Henri Matisse and Cezanne.  John also made the acquaintance, through Rodin, of John Quinn, an American collector.  Quinn would later support her both financially and emotionally until his death in 1924.  Even though she exhibited her work in Paris at the Salon d’Automne in 1919, and well into the mid-1920’s, she never gained the notoriety that she would until after her death.  Known for painting muted colored portraits in a  ¾ length pose, John was a methodical perfectionist.  Because of failing eye sight and health, she ceased painting around 1920, and lived in the village of Meudon where she kept only the company of her cats.  In an undated letter she wrote, “I should like to go and live somewhere where I met nobody I know till I am so strong that people and things could not affect me beyond reason.”   In 1926, she met Véra Oumançoff, with whom she had a rather obsessive relationship until Oumançoff ended it.   Known for her tenacious personality, John’s relationships never ended well.   John lived most of her life in France and died in Dieppe in 1936.  During her lifetime she produced approximately 158 paintings in addition to drawings and sketches of which many were of her own tortoiseshell cats.

Visit our store for prints and posters.

 

 

Black Cat Sleeping Gwen John Watercolor

Black Cat Sleeping
Gwen John
Watercolor

 

Black Cat on Blue and Pink Gwen John 1910-20 Watercolor

Black Cat on Blue and Pink
Gwen John
1910-20

 

 

Cat Gwen John Graphite and Watercolor on paper 1904-08 Tate

Cat
Gwen John
Graphite and Watercolor on paper
1904-08
Tate cats in art

 

Cat Gwen John Watercolor on Paper 1904-08

Cat
Gwen John
Watercolor on Paper
1904-08

 

 

 

Cat Grooming Itself Gwen John Private Collection

Cat Grooming Itself
Gwen John
Private Collection

 

Cat Lying Down Facing Left Gwen John 1910-20 Private Collection

Cat Lying Down Facing Left
Gwen John
1910-20
Private Collection

 

Cat Gwen John Pencil Sketch

Cat
Gwen John
Pencil Sketch


Cat Sitting with Eyes Closed Gwen John Sketch

Cat Sitting with Eyes Closed
Gwen John
Sketch

 

Cat Sleeping Gwen John Sketch Private Collection

Cat Sleeping
Gwen John
Sketch
Private Collection

 

Cat Staring at Ground Gwen John Pencil on Paper 1905-08 Private Collection

Cat Staring at Ground
Gwen John
Pencil on Paper
1905-08
Private Collection

 

Cat Studies Gwen John

Cat Studies
Gwen John

 

Cat Studies Gwen John Watercolor and Pencil on paper Museum of Wales

Cat Studies
Gwen John
Watercolor and Pencil on paper
Museum of Wales

 

 

Cat with White Ribbon Gwen John

Cat with White Ribbon
Gwen John

 

Black Cat Sitting in a Wick Gwen John

Black Cat Sitting in a Wick
Gwen John

 

A Sleeping Cat 1796 Gwen John Tate Museum

A Sleeping Cat
1896
Gwen John
Tate Museum

 

 

 

Tabby Cat Curled Up and Looking Attentively Gwen John 1905-08

Tabby Cat Curled Up and Looking Attentively
Gwen John
   1905-08

 

 

Cat Gwen John

Cat
Gwen John

 

Wide Awake Tortoiseshell Cat Gwen John

Wide Awake Tortoiseshell Cat
Gwen John

 

 

Cat Cleaning Itself Gwen John Watercolor on Paper 1904-08

Cat Cleaning Itself
Gwen John
Watercolor on Paper
1904-08

 

 

Tortoiseshell Cat Stretching Gwen John 1876 Private Collection

Tortoiseshell Cat Stretching
Gwen John
Private Collection

 

Seated Cat Gwen John c 1920

Seated Cat
Gwen John
c 1920

 

 

Seated Tortoiseshell Cat Facing Left Gwen John Pencil on Paper 1904-08 Private Collection

Seated Tortoiseshell Cat Facing Left
Gwen John
Pencil on Paper
1904-08
Private Collection

 

Seated Tortoiseshell Cat Gwen John

Seated Tortoiseshell Cat
Gwen John

 

Study of a Cat Gwen John Private Collection

Study of a Cat
Gwen John
Private Collection

 

Study of Sleeping Cat Gwen John

Study of Sleeping Cat
Gwen John

 

Study of a Cat Gwen John

Study of a Cat
Gwen John

 

Study of a Cat Gwen John

Study of a Cat
Gwen John

 

Sleeping Tortoiseshell Cat Gwen John

Sleeping Tortoiseshell Cat
Gwen John
Private Collection

 

Two Tortoiseshell Cats Sleeping Gwen John

Two Tortoiseshell Cats Sleeping
Gwen John

 

Study of a Tortoiseshell Cat Gwen John Pencil and Watercolor

Study of a Tortoiseshell Cat
Gwen John
Pencil and Watercolor

 

 

Interior with Woman Sewing at Window and Cat Gwen John

Interior with Woman Sewing at Window and Cat
Gwen John

 

 

 

 

 


Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013-2014 Laura Vocelle

Comments

  1. So pity that you’ve stopped to develop your wonderful cats’ project… Anyway thank you for you’ve done!

Speak Your Mind

*