About this artwork

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.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
    Gwen JohnWelsh (1876 - 1939)
  • title:
    A Young Nun
  • date created:
    About 1915 - 1920
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    65.10 x 49.00 cm; Framed: 75.30 x 58.90 x 8.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1970
  • accession number:
    GMA 1116
  • gallery:
  • subject:
  • artwork photographed by:
    Antonia Reeve
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Gwen John

Gwen John