A Young Nun by Gwen John A5 postcard

Item Size:
21 x 14.8 cm

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A5 (21 x 14.8 cm) single postcard featuring A Young Nun by Gwen John part of the National Galleries of Scotland collection.

The subject of this portrait is an unknown nun from the convent of the Dominican Sisters of Charity at Meudon, near Paris. Around 1913, John received a commission from the convent to paint a portrait of the nun who founded the order in 1696.

The commission took several years to complete, partly because several nuns requested copies to hang in their own rooms. The artist then worked for about twelve years on a series of portraits of nuns, of which this painting is one. The narrow tonal range, delicately textured surface and quiet sensitivity are typical of Gwen John's work.

Gwendolen Mary John (22 June 1876 – 18 September 1939) was a Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her career. Her paintings, mainly portraits of anonymous female sitters. Although she was overshadowed during her lifetime by her brother Augustus John and her lover Auguste Rodin, her reputation has grown steadily since her death.