Artist biography

Gwen JOHN 1876–1939

Painter, chiefly of portraits and single figure studies of women and children. Born 22 July 1876 in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, sister of Augustus John. Studied at the Slade School 1894–7 and at Whistler's School in Paris, where she continued to live from 1898. Intimate friendship with Rodin (from c. 1906), Rainer Maria Rilke and Jacques Maritain. Settled at Meudon c. 1914. Exhibited at the N.E.A.C. from 1900; with Augustus John at the Carfax Gallery 1903; at the Goupil Gallery and in Paris at the Société des Artistes Français 1920, and the Salon d'Automne 1921; first one-man exhibition at the New Chenil Galleries 1926. Died at Dieppe 13 September 1939. Though she visited England occasionally, her work was seldom seen until the Memorial exhibition at the Matthiesen Gallery in 1946 established her reputation. Further Memorial exhibition with Ethel Walker and Frances Hodgkins at the Tate Gallery 1952, and another at the Matthiesen Gallery 1961.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I