Art Collections Online

Head of Dorelia McNeil (1881-1969)

JOHN, Augustus (1878 - 1961)

Head of Dorelia McNeil (1881-1969)

Media: oil on plywood

Size: 40.1 x 33.3 cm

Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 162

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

Purchased by Gwendoline Davies in 1916 together with the Self-Portrait, this work was probably executed in Chelsea in 1911. John first met Dorelia McNeill in 1903 through his sister Gwen John. This work is an exceptionally fresh study drawn in pencil directly on its unprimed plywood support. The blue background and mauve dress were speedily blocked in and the flesh and hair tones added before the previous pigment had dried. John's small panel A Girl in Purple, also depicting Dorelia, was the most progressive work in An Exhibition of Works by Certain Modern Artists of Welsh Birth or Extraction in Cardiff in 1913-14.

Comments(4)

David Tovey
21 December 2021, 16:10
I wondered if you had ever considered this work as having been executed in Lamorna, Cornwall in early 1914 as opposed to in Chelsea. The backdrop of sea would make it very unlikely to be a Chelsea scene and Laura Knight mentioned in her first autobiography at p. 198 that John had done a number of paintings of Dorelia on the rocks with the sea as a backdrop. One of these was 'The Mauve Jersey' albeit this shows a long jersey open at the front. However, Dorelia was clearly into mauve at the time. I am writing a history of the Lamorna art colony and am finding that no-one seems to have done a serious analysis of John's works from his visit.

David Tovey
www.stivesart.info
Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
29 June 2015, 11:08

Hi Bernadette,

The painting is on display in gallery 15 at National Museum Cardiff. Find out more about how to visit here: Plan your visit

Sara
Digital Team

Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
22 June 2015, 13:45

Hi Bernadette,

Thanks you for your enquiry, I will pass it on to a colleague in the art department.

Sara
Digital Team

Bernadette Challener
22 June 2015, 13:07
Can I ask is this currently on display and also when you hang paintings in the gallery what are your considerations especially in the case of this painting. Thank you I am hoping (transport allowing)I can get to Cardiff to see this but would really like to know it is ther as I am doing a project on Augustus John
Thank you again for any help you can offer.
Comments are currently unavailable. We apologise for the inconvenience.
Back to Art Collections Online homepage

Browse artists

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All Other

Browse makers and designers

Browse by letter:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All