I find that the Welsh painter Gwen John (1876-1939) is one of the greatest heros in the history of Art. I found a little book a while ago about her life, her works and, from that moment on, I have been totally devoted to her and her female portraits. I need to point out Gwen John’s unshakeable faith, her seek of solitude, the way she painted with no major ambition, completely separate from any fashion art movement. So many times, she has served as a model for me. She had not got an easy life, she did not seek it either; even at the expense of her well-being she was devoted to her paintings.
She travelled to Paris in 1904 and never left France. She worked as a model for some other artists and had a long and passionate romance with the sculptor Auguste Rodin. She was a close friend of the poet Rilke although the most important person in her life, from our point of view, was the American collector John Quinn. From 1910 to Gwen John’s death he bought most of her paintings. That allowed her to live quietly, albeit modestly, always surrounded by her beloved ones: the cats.