The 20th century saw an expansion of opportunities for women and Gwen John and Dorelia McNeill trained at the Slade School of Art which was more liberal than the older Royal Academy. They were part of a group of ‘Bohemians’, artists and intellectuals who lived experimental life-styles. Gwen John painted Dorelia in a Black Dress while the two young women were walking through France, sleeping rough and earning a little from sketching and singing. Dorelia is shown in an informal, intimate way. Her attitude suggests her self-confidence.