Julio González

Girl Dressing her Hair


Not on display

Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Jeune femme se coiffant
Ink, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 267 × 371 mm
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972

Display caption

The relationship between realism and abstraction in González's work is demonstrated in these drawings, where the two modes of representation converge. The realistic heads are marked with the strict planes and stylistic traits that would facilitate their construction in folded metal. Though schematic, the abstract heads are taut with emotion. All were made in the early years of the Second World War, and their imagery echoes González's response to the Spanish Civil War.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01639 Jeune Femme se coiffant (Girl dressing her Hair) 1942

Inscribed '-1-42 | J.G.' b.l.
Pencil, pen and watercolour on cream paper, 10 1/2 x 14 5/8 (26.5 x 37.1)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Femmes à leur Toilette (Paris 1975), p.90 repr.
Repr: Ronald Alley, The González Gift to the Tate Gallery (London 1974), p.46

The theme of women dressing their hair, sometimes in front of a mirror, was of recurrent interest to González and was the subject of a large number of drawings from the early 1900s onwards, as well as several welded iron sculptures. Gibert, op. cit., pp.90-2, reproduces three drawings closely related to the present work, dated either 2 or 4 January 1942. However each shows more of the figure and has the left hand raised holding the hair as well as the right (in an almost symmetrical pose). They are less completely finished than T01639, which appears to be the culmination of this small series.

The model seems to have been Marie-Thérèse [the artist's wife].

[All the drawings by Julio González given to the Tate are authenticated on the back by his daughter Roberta González and inscribed with a title and date, or approximate date. The titles are used in the catalogue entries, but the dating has been made more precise wherever possible. (Julio González's drawings are usually dated from about 1934 onwards, but the great majority of the early drawings are undated).]

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.326-7, reproduced p.326


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