Louise Gautier Wearing a Cape charcoal and wash 31 x 27.3 cm. (12 1/4 x 10 3/4 in.) Executed circa 1918-19
PROVENANCE: Isabel Bowser Lucy Bowser Thence by family descent
EXHIBITED: Probably Paris, Societe du Salon d'Automne, 1919, no.967 (as La Paresseuse) London, Barbican Art Gallery, Gwen John, An Interior Life, 12 September - 3 November 1985, no.98; this exhibition traveled to Manchester, Manchester City Art Gallery, 28 November 1985 - 26 January 1986 and New Haven, Connecticut, Yale Centre for British Art, 26 February - 20 April 1986
LITERATURE: Cecily Langdale, Gwen John: With a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and a Selection of the Drawings, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1987, no.284, p.216 (ill.b&w, p.54)
The present drawing was gifted by John to Isabel Bowser, a close friend and a keen artist, before being passed to her sister Lucy. John first met Bowser in about 1908 when Gwen sat for her, and it is possible that the pair lived together briefly in the 1910s. Isabel, who owned a number of works by the artist, was also sister to Rhoda Symons, whose husband Arthur was the subject of a series of drawings by John.
In her literature on the artist Cecily Langdale notes, 'In composition and because of the attire depicted, this drawing of Louise Gautier is strongly reminiscent of a series of paintings of the convalescent model in a grey cape. The title 'La paresseuse' is written on a separate label which is thought to refer to this picture. If it does, this is almost certainly the drawing shown in Paris in 1919' (Cecily Langdale, Gwen John: With a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and a Selection of the Drawings, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 1987, p.216).
The model, Louise Gautier, sat for John during the artist's time in Pléneuf, a small village on the north coast of Brittany from 1918-1919.
We are grateful to Cecily Langdale for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.