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A Young Nun

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A Young Nun About 1915 - 1920

On Display Modern One

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 a number of the 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.

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Dominican Order

A Roman Catholic religious order founded by St. Dominic in the early 13th century, particularly focused on missionary work and scholarship. It is also known as the Order of Preachers.

Commission, Dominican Order


  • Acc. No. GMA 1116
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 65.10 x 49.00 cm (framed 75.30 x 58.90 x 8.00 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1970