self portrait ~ 1902

Self-Portrait 1902 Gwen John 1876-1939 Purchased 1942

Self-Portrait by Gwen John ~ 1902

Gwen John trained at the Slade School of Art in London. She was taught in a traditional style, which involved laborious copying of Old Master paintings. This training shows through in the naturalism and carefully controlled colour range of this picture. As a woman in a career still largely dominated by men, including her successful brother Augustus, Gwen had to struggle for recognition. The self-scrutinising intensity of this image, and the isolation of the figure, registers some sense of this struggle. But the self-assessment, and our response to it, is left ambiguous.

Via: Tate Museum

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