Gwen John (1876 – 1939) a Welsh Artist

Video (6:36): slidshow with paintings by bisexual painter Gwen John (1876 – 1939) from Wales, UK.

[The copyright of the video above remains with the original holder and it is used here for the purpose of education, comparison and criticism only.]

About Painter Gwen John

Gwen John was born in Haverfordwest, Wales in 1876. She painted and drew from an early age; Gwen John’s earliest surviving work dates from her nineteenth year. From 1895 to 1898, she studied at the Slade School of Art, where the program was modeled after French atelier’s methods. In 1898 she made her first visit to Paris with two friends from the Slade, and while there she studied under James McNeill Whistler at his school, Académie Carmen. She returned to London in 1899, and exhibited her work for the first time in 1900, at the New English Art Club (NEAC). In 1904 the two went to Paris, where John found work as an artist’s model, mostly for women artists. In that same year, she began modelling for the sculptor Auguste Rodin, and became his lover. Throughout her life John was attracted to people of both sexes. Although August Rodin was her great love, she had a number of same-sex relationships. The German painter Ida Gerhardi fell in love with John but it was not reciprocated. John’s last passion was Véra Oumançoff, for whom she developed an obsession and then stalked.
During her years in Paris she met many of the leading artistic personalities of her time. In 1910 she moved to Meudon, a suburb of Paris where she would live and work for the rest of her life. Gwen John’s last dated work is a drawing of March 20, 1933, and no evidence suggests that she drew or painted during the remainder of her life. She died in 1939. Gwen John’s drawings number in the thousands.