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Augustus John was one of the star pupils of the Slade School in the late 1890s. He was invited to exhibit with the New English Art Club, and was one of its most innovative contributors in the early years of this century.
This portrait of the artist's wife Dorelia, was made for the important American collector John Quinn, who was an early admirer of John's work. The technique of painting in oils with pure colour, unshaded, had first been used by John in sketches of Provence in 1910. He used the same style in this portrait, but with quieter colours.

September 2004