Augustus John OM Woman Smiling 1908–9

Artwork details

Augustus John OM 1878–1961
Woman Smiling
Date 1908–9
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Frame: 2210 x 1238 x 85 mm
support: 1960 x 982 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1917
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1900

Display caption

John painted this portrait of his second partner, Dorelia, for the annual exhibition, 'Fair Women' organised by the International Society. These exhibitions included old masters as well as modern portraits, and reviewers compared John's picture to works by Van Dyck and Manet. Dorelia designed her own dress with high waist and long skirt; it is known also from many drawings, and set a fashion for gypsy-like costume. This portrait was the first purchase by the Contemporary Art Society, although it was not allocated to the Tate until 1917.

August 2004

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