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s e l f p o r tra i t , Gwe n Jo h n

To simply create an accurate portrait of JAMES MCNEILL WHISTLER seemed too simple to Rodin. He wanted to express more than Whistler’s outer appearance — to show his ideas, intuitions and art. He thought of the muse that had inspired Whistler: a graceful, well-formed female model. The model RODIN would use appeared in the shape of young Welsh painter GWENDOLEN MARY JOHN , called GWEN JOHN .

Gwen Gwen was born in the small town of Haverfordwest in the south of Wales in 1876 . When she was eight years old, her family moved to the Welsh coastal town of Tenby. A rugged,


lonely landscape with steep cliffs and fields for agricultural work imbued the young girl with a love of freedom and nature. She often took her younger brother, Auguste, sketching – they both loved to draw and paint. While their education at home was certainly lacking, Gwen learned how to behave like a lady and even how to speak some French. Both she and Auguste were allowed to study painting at the »SLADE SCHOOL OF ART« in London for three years.


Profile for sisterMAG

sisterMAG46 – Thinker – EN