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IIIF Actions
Gwen John, 1876–1939, British

The Pilgrim

ca. 1920
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 29 × 21 3/8 inches (73.7 × 54.3 cm) and Frame: 35 × 27 inches (88.9 × 68.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Copyright Undetermined
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
cape | pilgrim | portrait | woman
On view in the galleries
IIIF Manifest:

Gwen John’s conversion to Catholicism in 1913 led her to discover the writings of the Carmelite nun Thérèse of Lisieux, who had died in 1897 at just twenty-four years old. Canonized in 1925, Thérèse had described a "little way" to holiness, the humble acceptance of small sufferings and sacrifices in the monotony of daily life rather than the necessity of heroic acts of faith. This painting of a young woman, though larger than usual, is typical of John’s mature work when she relied on only a few models to produce paintings of solitary young women. They are rarely named and are typically posed in quiet contemplation, sometimes, as here, praying the Rosary. They reflect a belief in the importance of embracing one’s insignificance and of the superiority of the work of prayer and contemplation over worldly action.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Augustus John and Gwen John (National Museum Wales, 2005-02-12 - 2005-05-15) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Augustus John and Gwen John (Tate Britain, 2004-09-29 - 2005-01-09) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

20th Century Paintings and Sculpture (Yale Center for British Art, 2000-01-27 - 2000-04-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Juxtapositions (Yale Center for British Art, 1997-11-19 - 1998-01-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

British & French paintings, drawings, and sculpture, 1870-1950, 26 June-28 July 1984, Browse & Darby , Browse & Darby, 1984, no. 13, DealerCat Browse Darby [ORBIS]

M. Chamot, Gwen John and Augustus John, Country Life, vol. 59, June 5, 1926, p. 773, S3 +C68 59 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ian Collins, Modernism and memory : Rhoda Pritzker and the art of collecting, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2016, p. 122 n. 7, N6768 .M635 2016 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Alicia Foster, Gwen John, Tate Gallery Publishing, London, 1999, pp. 62-3, No. 53, NJ18 J594 F67 1999 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Alicia Foster, Gwen John, Tate Publishing, London, 2015, pp. 74, 76, fig. 53, NJ18.J594 F67 2015 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Betsy G. Fryberger, Gwen John, paintings and drawings from the collection of John Quinn & others, Stanford University Museum of Art, Stanford California, 27 April until 27 June 1982 , 19, The Museum, Stanford, Calif., 1982, pp. 19-21, NJ18 J594 F78 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Gwen John, 1876-1939, 3 to 26 March 1976 , Anthony d'Offay Gallery, 1976, no. 10, NJ18 J594 A68 (YCBA) [YCBA]

David Fraser Jenkins, Gwen John and Augustus John, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, pp. 155-56, no. 100, NJ18 J594 G84 + 2004 oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Cecily Langdale, Gwen John : With a Catalogue Raisonne of the Paintings and a Selection of the Drawings, , Yale University Press, New Haven, 1987, pp. 85, 87, 88.., no. 107, pl. 127, NJ18 J594 A12 L25 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Gwen John letters and notebooks, selected from the Gwen John papers at the National Library of Wales , London, 2004, p. 149, NJ18 J594 A2 2004 [ORBIS]

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 1, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA) [YCBA]

Pilgrim (Art Reproduction), Burlington Magazine, V. 126, July 1984, p. xix, N1 B87+ (YCBA) Also available in JSTOR [YCBA]

Sue Roe, Gwen John, a life , Chatto & Windus, London, 2001, p. 247, NJ18 J594 R64 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Maria Tamboukou, Nomadic narratives, visual forces, Gwen John's letters and paintings , v. 1, Peter Lang, New York, 2010, pp. 86, 87, NJ18 J594 T36 2010 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Mary Taubman, Gwen John, Scolar Press, London, 1985, p. 128, , pl. 55, NJ18 J594 T28 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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