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A Corner of the Artist's Room in Paris
JOHN, Gwen (1876 - 1939)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 31.2 x 24.8 cm
Acquired: 1995; Purchase; with assistance of Derek Williams Trust / Estate of Mrs J. Green
Accession Number: NMW A 3397
Gwen John attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London between 1895 and 1898, and studied briefly in Paris. In 1903, she accompanied Dorelia McNeill, soon to be her brother Augustus's lover and muse, on a walking tour through France. By the beginning of 1904, she had settled in Paris, where she earned a living by modelling. She lived on the top floor of 87 rue du Cherche-Midi between 1907 and 1909. This sparsely furnished room appears repeatedly in work of this period. The empty chair, discarded clothes and open book suggest the artist's invisible presence, and the painting conveys much about her life, a sense of controlled passion, of order, quiet and absolute calm.