Gwen John
Dorelia in a Black Dress c.1903–4

Artwork details

Gwen John 1876–1939
Dorelia in a Black Dress
Date c.1903–4
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 730 x 489 mm
frame: 885 x 645 x 113 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Duveen Paintings Fund 1949
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1900

Display caption

John trained at the Slade School of Art, where the paintings of James McNeill Whistler were hugely influential. In her work, as in Whistler’s, the atmosphere of a portrait is just as important as the display of personality or the narration of biography. Wishing to be free of family expectations and, perhaps, of her brother Augustus' fame, John moved to Paris in 1904. En route John made three paintings of her travelling companion Dorelia McNeil. This is one of them.

February 2010

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