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The artist Gwen John (1876-1939), known for her intense figure studies, portraits and interiors, was one of the most enigmatic and intriguing figures in the history of twentieth century art. This first publication of an extensive selection of unabridged letters, alongside extracts from her notebooks, sheds new light on her life, her career and her...
The artist Gwen John (1876-1939), known for her intense figure studies, portraits and interiors, was one of the most enigmatic and intriguing figures in the history of twentieth century art. This first publication of an extensive selection of unabridged letters, alongside extracts from her notebooks, sheds new light on her life, her career and her artistic development. After training at the Slade and at Whistler's Academy in Paris, John settled in Paris in 1905, where she modelled for Rodin, subsequently becoming his lover In 1915 she converted to Catholicism, withdrawing to the suburban village of Meudon, where she remained until her death. The letters she sent to friends and the notebooks in which she explored her artistic ideas and recorded visual impressions, often combining notes and sketches on the same page, were an important medium of expression for her. While never intended for publication, these writings, drawn from the artist's personal archives at the National Library of Wales, reveal the witty, passionate and intensely committed artistic intelligence that lay behind her work. Essential reading for all those interested in the life of this extraordinary artist and in the creative process itself.
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