Emma Sandys was born in Norwich where her father, Anthony Sands (1806–1883), gave her some early lessons. In 1853 the family added a ‘y’ to their surname. She was influenced by her brother Frederick Sandys (1829-1904), one of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and his friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Her earliest dated painting is marked 1863 and she exhibited her works in both London and Norwich between 1867 and 1874.  Her works were mainly portraits in both oil and chalk of children and of young women, often in period or medieval clothing, against backgrounds of brightly coloured flowers.Emma Sandys did most of her work around Norwich but may have spent time in the studio of her brother, Frederick Sandys, in London. She died in Norwich in November 1877.
^ abcdYeldham, Charlotte (2004). Pre-Raphaelite women artists (act. 1848-1870s), female contemporaries of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (available online from 2011).
^Leighton House Museum (2014). A Victorian obsession: the Pérez Simon collection at Leighton House Museum, 14 November 2014-29 March 2015. Exhibition guide. 75p. London, Leighton House Museum.
^"Victorian Web". Portrait of a Girl by Emma Sandys. Victorian Web. Retrieved 15 June 2011.