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Woman by a Riverbank

Augustus John

European Art

A stylish portraitist, John honed his quick touch and powers of observation through excursions to the English and French countryside with his paint box at the ready for on-the-spot studies. In this image John paints his companion Dorothy McNeill, known as “Dorelia,” on a riverbank in a long dress that flows over her voluptuous contours, amplified by the curving stripes of the patterned garment. John contrasts her fleshy body with an almost impossibly small head and cursorily painted features. John retains the integrity of the figure in his more conventional work but displays a similar flair for color with bright, unmixed pigments, especially the yellow punch of Dorelia’s stockinged left ankle.
MEDIUM Oil on panel
  • Place Made: England
  • DATES ca. 1910-1912
    DIMENSIONS 18 x 12 1/2 in. (45.7 x 31.8 cm)
    MARKINGS Verso paper label: "ARTHUR TOOTH & SONS, Ltd./DEALERS IN WORKS OF ART,/155, NEW BOND STREET,/LONDON./ESTABLISHED 1842. Verso paper label: "JAMES BOURLET & SONS, Ltd.,/Fine Art Packers, Frame Makers/B58747/17 & 18 NASSAU STREET, MORTIMER STREET, W./Phones:--MUSEUM 1871 & 7588."
    SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "John"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Helen Babbott Sanders
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