Like her younger brother Augustus, Gwen John studied at the Slade School of Art. From 1898 she continued her studies in Paris for two years at the Academic Carmen where Whistler was taught. When she was twenty-seven she moved to France permanently, leading a mostly solitary existence. She painted mainly portraits of women, girls in church, her cats and an occasional interior. After 1910 her pictures showed a restricted tonal range, with colours limited to greys and pinks. In 1914 she moved to the village of Meudon on the outskirts of Paris, where she lived until her death. Near her home was an order of nuns, some of whom she painted. The nuns had orphan girls in their care and 'Bust of a Girl with a Bow before a Pink Background' may be a portrait of one of them.