Mrs. Atkinson (Gwen John)
|Medium||Oil paint, panel|
|Dimensions||30.5 cm (12.0 in) × 31.1 cm (12.2 in)|
|Location||Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Identifiers||The Met object ID: 481922|
Description and interpretation
The work depicts John's cleaning woman, Mrs. Atkinson, sitting in a room covered with flocked wallpaper. There is a sheep skull on the mantelpiece, though this is not thought to have symbolic meaning.
Simon Schama writes that she is "glancing anxiously sideways, uncertain of what is wanted of her." The painting was exhibited at the New English Art Club in the spring of 1900, marking a strong phase of her career that also saw her Self-portrait on display there about that time. It is considered among the "carefully executed tonal paintings of rather detailed genre subjects" in her first mature oil works.
- "Mrs. Atkinson". Metmuseum.org. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- Schama, Simon (2016). The Face of Britain: A History of the Nation Through Its Portraits. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190621896.
- Taubman, Mary (1985). Gwen John, the artist and her work. Cornell University Press. p. 24.
- Gaze, Delia (2013-04-03). Concise Dictionary of Women Artists. Routledge. p. 386. ISBN 9781136599019.