Sunday, October 9, 2011

A corner of the artist's room

Reading: Gwen John: A Painter's Life, by Sue Roe

According to her brother Augustus, also a painter, Gwen John favoured basements and underground cellars: when she returned to London from Paris in 1899, she installed herself 'in a kind of dungeon ... into which no ray of sunlight could ever penetrate'.

But here is her attic room at 87 rue du Cherche-Midi, where she moved with her cat Edgar Quinet, in the midst of an affair with Rodin.

A Corner of the Artist's Room in Paris (With Open Window) c. 1907-09

And this, I presume, is Edgar Quinet, who was 'not very popular'. She had sprung a vicious attack on one of the visiting lady painters. Gwen was sure it wasn't personal,  just 'une affaire de nerfs'.

And update on Ms Quinet (bec of me being currently obsessed with Gwen John):  Gwen felt sorry for her sometimes, because the cat tried to understand so many things with her 'little, troubled soul'.

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