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The Cover
July 28, 2010

Woman by a Riverbank

JAMA. 2010;304(4):382. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.795

Voracious in appetites, prodigious in capacity for drink, British artist Augustus John (1879-1961) painted, caroused, and shared his joie de vivre in an atmosphere of bohemian license. The plethora of his varied artistic output—including prints, drawings, watercolors, oil paintings, and an autobiography—accompanies the escapades and episodes of revelry, tempered by periods of melancholy and “the glooms.” Born in Wales, of a parsimonious yet prosperous father and a mother who died when John was only 6 years old, Augustus relied on the company of his siblings, including older sister—later artist and celebrity in her own right—Gwen. He and Gwen studied at the Slade School of Fine Art; there they garnered many acquaintances and friends of a similarly creative bent.