Gwen John loved cats and frequently depicted them. This tortoiseshell cat was called Edgar Quinet and appears in most of these drawings. When Edgar Quinet ran away in 1908, Gwen John was noticeably upset, writing a poem to express her loss called ‘Au Chat’, which she sent to Rodin.
11 x 13.7 cm
Date of work
Graphite and watercolour on paper, 11 x 13.7 cm
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, leaving France at the outbreak of the Second World War.