Gwen John Cat c.1904–8

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Artwork details

Artist
Gwen John 1876–1939
Title
Cat
Date c.1904–8
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 111 x 137 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1940
Reference
N05154
Not on display

Display caption

Gwen John adored her cats, and depicted them frequently. This one, a tortoiseshell named Edgar Quinet, appears in most of her cat drawings, sometimes with her kittens. The name was taken from the address where John lived in 1904 when she first had the cat, 19 boulevard Edgar Quinet in Paris. When Edgar Quinet ran away in 1908, John was devastated. In a letter to a friend, Ursula Tyrwhitt, she wrote, 'when the cats make love I run to see if my sweet is one of them'. She composed a poem to her loss, 'Au Chat', which she sent to Rodin.

September 2004

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