This is a portrait of Dorelia McNeil. Dorelia was a close friend to Gwen John, as well as a mistress and muse to her brother Augustus. This portrait was painted in 1903-1904 as Dorelia and Gwen travelled and hitchhiked around France.
Dorelia in a Black Dress
73 x 48.9 cm
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas, 73 x 48.9 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.