This month, we've selected an evocative self-portrait of Gwen John (1876-1939) painted in 1902. John studied at The Slade School of Art where she was awarded a prize for figure composition. She painted this self-portrait early in her career and it set a precedent for her future work.
She was known for her quiet, subtle tones, and often overlooked by her brother’s (Augustus John) more vibrant works. Perhaps this painting shows a sense of inner confidence that she lost along the way.
The painting was acquired by the Tate in 1942 and last shown in an exhibition at Tate St. Ives in 2018.
Competition Rules: Every month, we’re asking artists to create a version of our chosen portrait in their own style. It should be an interpretation, rather than a faithful reproduction, so do feel free to express yourself.
To enter, simply post your submission on Instagram and tag it with #portraitartistofthepast. Please do so by the last day of each month. We’ll then select a winner and showcase their entry on our website and social media. Every winning portrait will also be displayed for one month in our gallery (once open later this year).
March’s competition will run from the 1st of March to the 31st of March, with the winner being announced before Monday the 5th of April.
Good luck and have fun!