N05744 YOUNG WOMAN HOLDING A BLACK CAT c.
Canvas, 18×11 3/4 (46×29·5).
Purchased from the Matthiesen Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1946.
Coll: As for N05152.
Exh: Matthiesen Gallery, September–October 1946 (30), as ‘Three-quarter length of a Young Woman holding a black cat’; Arts Council, Ethel Walker, Frances Hodgkins, Gwen John, Tate Gallery, May–June 1952 (122, repr. pl.7).
Several variants of this subject exist and the same model can be recognized in other pictures, though it is not known who she was. Nos.1, 2, 5 and 6 at the Matthiesen Gallery, February– March 1958, show her wearing the same dress with the same window recess in the background. They were painted at Gwen John's flat, 29 Rue Terre Neuve, Meudon. When Edwin John went over to France soon after her death in 1939 he found all her work stored in this attic room.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I