Gwen John - Corner of the Artist’s Room in Paris [1907]

This painting is of Gwen John's attic studio in the Rue du Cherche Midi in Paris, where she lived from 1907 until 1909. John led a very private life and found much contentment being in this room, saying that it gave her an extraordinary feeling of pleasure to be there. It has often been described as a self-portrait of John even though she is not in the picture herself.

Gwen John is best known for her paintings of women and children in interiors. She was born in Tenby, Wales in 1876 and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. She moved to Paris in 1904 to study under James McNeill Whistler. During this time she worked as an artist's model posing for, amongst others, the sculptor Auguste Rodin. They became lovers but the affair eventually ended and John moved to a suburb of Paris called Meudon where she lived until her death in 1939.