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John: Young Woman Holding a Black Cat (custom print)
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          Artwork details

          Young Woman Holding a Black Cat, c.1920-5
          Artist
          Gwen John
          Product code
          gwejoh1502
          Artwork code
          N05744
          Artist code
          n03173
          Oil paint on canvas, 46 x 30 x 1.7 cm

          Gwen John painted several versions of this work, some identical, some with differing costumes or poses. The sitter was a neighbour of Johnís in Meaudon, France and her most frequently used model. However, despite this, she was rarely referred to in Johnís letters and diaries and her name is unknown.

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          Artist details

          Born in 1876, Gwen John painted intimate portraits and studies of women, children and animals. Although at points in her career she was influenced by the Old Masters and Whistler, her style remained aloof from art movements and was intensely personal. In her lifetime, she was overshadowed by her vivacious painter brother Augustus John. Perhaps because of this, for most of her adult life she lived in France, where she developed a passionate attachment to the sculptor Rodin. Gwen John died in 1939 in Dieppe as she was leaving France at the outbreak of the Second World War.

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