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Gwen was the sister of Augustus John. Like him she studied at the Slade School of Art. In 1903 she traveled to France and a year later found work as a model for Auguste Rodin who she then had a love affair with. Her devotion to the much older and famous Rodin continued unabated for the next 10 years, as documented in her thousands of fervent letters to him, even though he had broken off the relationship.
In spite of her significantly lower output her reputation has fared better over the years than that of her brother’s. (http://artistandstudio.tumblr.com/tagged/spa/page/33)
Gwendolen Mary John (22 June 1876-18 Sept. 1939); Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. Her paintings, mainly portraits of anonymous female sitters, are rendered in a range of closely related tones. Although she was overshadowed during her lifetime by her brother Augustus John, her reputation has grown steadily since her death.
In 1916, Gwen John wrote in a letter: "I think a picture ought to be done in 1 sitting or at most 2. For that one must paint a lot of canvases probably and waste them." Her surviving oeuvre is comparatively small, comprising 158 known oil paintings which rarely exceed 24 inches in height or width. The majority are portraits, but she also painted still lifes, interiors and a few landscapes. She wrote, "...a cat or a man, its the same thing ... its an affair of volumes ... the object is of no importance." Although she lived in France from the age of 28 until she died, her work always displayed a British sensibility.
Her early paintings, such as the Portrait of the Artist's Sister Winifred (c. 1897–98) and Dorelia in a Black Dress (1903–04), are painted using thin glazes in the traditional manner of the old masters. Beginning with her series of paintings of Mère Poussepin (c. 1913), her style is characterized by thicker paint appled in small, mosaic-like touches. It became her habit to paint the same... (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwen_John)