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This beautiful portrait of the artist’s sister was executed in around 1900. Gwen and Winifred had an especially close relationship and this is evident in the warmth of the portrait. Winifred often occurred as a model in Gwen’s earlier works. This picture highlights perfectly Gwen’s fine 'sense of tone' as Whistler once described her talent. During their childhood Gwen and Winifred, who was three years younger than her sister, would spend many hours together exploring the Pembrokeshire countryside to escape the confinement of their home. Their father was a strict disciplinarian. Gwen and Winifred created a secret code of facial expressions to communicate. Winifred studied music in London and she, Gwen and their brother Augustus briefly shared rooms at Fitzroy Street during the winter of 1897–1898.
Winifred John (1879–1967)
oil on canvas
H 25 x W 20 cm
purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund, 1971