Head of Dorelia McNeil (1881-1969)
JOHN, Augustus (1878 - 1961)
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.