14 January 2012

That's LIFE: the women He loved, Augustus John


the handsome John in 1899, painting by Sir William Orfen

Ida Nettleship with Gwen John, an artist in her own right, Augustus' sister.
at far left of drawing is a friend- drawing by Augustus John 1897.

1st wife Ida, with the couple's  baby (they had five sons)

Ida with sister Gwen, Augustus, & their 1st child (at the time Ida & John were married)
Dorelia  at r. painted by John

after Ida died  giving birth- Dorelia & John married

Dorelia (at right) painted by Gwen John-(Gwen-Self Portrait, at left ) 
it is rumored the pair had an affair in defiance of Augustus, & Ida

 Lyric Fantasy
a gathering of John's women, 1909 here, even the late, Ida, at far right

Dorelia & John had two daughters-  
Vivien & Poppet

 artist Vivien alongside a John painting of her mother Dorelia, at left & Poppet painted by her father

Gwyneth Johnstone, daughter of  John & Nora Brownsword,
painted by John, she became a painter like her father

John's daughter, Amaryllis Fleming- from John's liaison with Evelyn St. Croix Fleming, 
Eve- a painting by Augustus John here

& the many Women he painted and loved-likely too numerous to name, or to know-

Luisa Casati 

Elizabeth Bibesco, nee Asquith
Princess Bibesco

Tallulah Bankhead

Lady Cynthia Asquith

Lady Ottoline Morrell, & at right with Dorelia

the menage years later-

Iris Tree

&  standing in for all the others- 
John's The Sphinx

the Augustus John Sphinx is owned by singer Bryan Ferry, at 66, llike the Sphinx-ageless, timeless & like John- a Slave to Love.

for more John paintings see artvalue here
more about John here



  1. Plus his granddaughter Talitha Getty, Poppet's daughter...beauty ran deep in the genes and on the canvas.

  2. So lovely to hear from You-and happy New Year! Talitha was the daughter of the Dutch painter Willem Jilts Pol & his first wife Arnoldine Adriana Mees. Poppet was Talitha's stepmother and subsequently connected to Dorelia and Augustus. PGT

  3. Love your new image posted of yourself...an AJ worthy composition image for sure. Happy 2012 and Blessings of Laurels upon your Crown!

    Talitha has been an Icon of Beauty & Tragedy in my fertile mind which at times needs a bit of pruning for the blossom of Truth to unfurl and bear it's scent! Thanks for the nip....SEE you in the Garden.

  4. the bride is fabulous; he's lucky, she's lucky, and there may be a god.

  5. Well...he would be kind of ageless. But he dyes his hair! So that makes him look like a total geezer phony to me! And it is the worst color!

    I have a complete double-standard; and admit to it. Women.....(as long as it it is not disfiguring) plastic surgery, fillers, botox can be "enhancers" Same with hair color..streaks...etcetera.

    Men. I draw a big fat line in the sand. YUCK. Bootblack hair on men in their sixties? On and on! Never good. YUCK. Same with face-lifts, and fake tan. So completely horrific!

    My opinion is this: men who stay fit and take care of themselves become sexier with age. Even the whole chin thing. Start with the hair dying, the eye-lifting, the fake tanning. Completely strips them (to me) of any sexiness....and appeal. They become pathetic.
    "Comb-overs" "toupees"? OHDEARLORD!!!

    Now those make me wonder....."Does that poor pathetic guy have a wife? Why is she letting him make a fool of himself like that?"
    It breaks my heart, actually.

    He would be cute. The hair dye killed all the cute for me!
    As always......just my opinion!

  6. I think I am the only downer comment in months. Sorry!

  7. Je ne connaissais pas ce peintre gallois Augustus John et j'ai apprécié toutes ces oeuvres.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Have a good sunday!

  8. This post has brought back many memories. My father had met and knew Lady Gregory owner of Coole Park in Gort. Coole Park is open to the public and has an autograph tree on which are carved the initials of the various guests of Lady Gregory, including Augustus John who was a frequent visitor. I was born and lived my early years about 8 miles from Coole Park.( Our cousins farm was next door to Coole Park) WB Yeats' "Wild Swans at Coole" is a beautiful poem.
    He was a master portrait painter and one could say he lived the artistic life.
    Thank you for bringing back these memories.
    Close to Coole Park is Thoor Ballylea, a small castle, where WB Yeats spent considerable time, it is within a horse and carriage ride of Coole Park. Both a well worth visiting when in the West of Ireland.


  9. You're a great teacher! Thanks for that.

  10. Dear Gaye, I just wish too THANK Helen Tilston who wrote of Coole Park for mentioning the County Galway jewels...one of which once belonged to my dear friend who passed away almost 2 years ago, Tulira Castle where Yeats spent much time as well with owner Edward Martyn and Lady Gregory. She lovingly restored this jewel and hosted many local functions...I shall always remember I found my 1st gray hair while staying in her Castle!

    I miss her terribly, and have thought much of her lately...SHE was one of those Souls we are not so all lucky to meet ~ a Mentor, Friend, Sister and Mother in one!

  11. This is such a rich post. Each painting is extraordinary. Thank you. Superb.

  12. He might have been a talented artist, but I can never forgive Augustus John for being a low life. The Telegraph showed that Caitlin Macnamara (Dylan Thomas' wife) was brutally initiated into sex, at 12, by her father's friend Augustus John. Augustus John considered sleeping with teenagers one of the perks of artistic genius, and Caitlin's dad handed her over.


  13. Overall very interesting, however a few inaccuracies. There is no evidence Gwen John and Doreila had an affair, they did go to Toulouse then Paris, and there is evidence that Dorelia ran off briefly with a Belgian artist called Leonard, however she returned to Augsutus.

    The woman standing next to Augustus and Ida with their son David is Gwen, as he did not meet Doreilia until 1903, a year after the photo was taken. Also, Alick Schepeler is not mentioned and the fact that he had an affair with Ottoline Morrell.



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