This still life is set in the artist's studio in Meudon in France. Many of the objects in the picture are familiar studio props, such as the round table, the rectangular box and the checked cloth, and they appear frequently in Gwen John's work. However the Japanese doll only appears in this painting and in a second version of it, and introduces a splash of colour into what is otherwise a study of tone. It was acquired by Julia Quinn Anderson, the sister of Gwen John's patron John Quinn, around 1930. She was presumably referring to this work when she commented in a letter to Gwen in July 1928, 'I am sorry that the painting of the doll was not finished'.
Where to see this painting?
National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff
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