Evelyn De Morgan
Evelyn De Morgan English pronunciation: /iːv/lən də/mɔːrgæn/ (30 August 1855 – 2 May 1919) was an English painter whose works were influenced by the style of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. She was a follower of Pre-Raphaelist Burne-Jones. Her paintings exhibit spirituality; use of mythological, biblical, and literary themes; the role of women; light and darkness as metaphors; life and death; and allegories of war.
She was born Mary Evelyn Pickering at 6 Grosvenor Street, to upper middle class parents Percival Pickering QC, the Recorder of Pontefract, and Anna Maria Wilhelmina Spencer Stanhope, the sister of the artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope and a descendant of Coke of Norfolk who was an Earl of Leicester.
Evelyn was educated at home and started drawing lessons when she was 15. On the morning of her seventeenth birthday, Evelyn recorded in her diary, "Art is eternal, but life is short…" "I will make up for it now, I have not a moment to lose." She went on to persuade her parents to let her go to art school. At first they discouraged it, but in 1873 she was enrolled at the Slade School of Art. She was granted a scholarship at Slade which entitled her to three years of financial assistance. However, since the scholarship required that she draw nudes using charcoal and she did not care for this technique, she eventually declined it.
She was also a pupil of her uncle John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, who was a great influence on her works. Beginning in 1875, Evelyn often visited him in Florence where he lived. This also enabled her to study the great artists of the Renaissance; she was particularly fond of the works of Botticelli. This influenced her to move away from the classical subjects favored by the Slade school and to make her own style. She first exhibited in 1877 at the Grosvenor Gallery in London and continued to show her paintings thereafter.
In August 1883 Evelyn met the ceramicist William De Morgan, and in 5 March 1887, they married. They spent their lives together in London. De Morgan, a pacifist, expressed her horror at the First World War and South African War in over fifteen war paintings including The Red Cross and S.O.S.
Relative to artistic pursuits, money was unimportant to the De Morgans; any profits from sales of Evelyn's paintings went toward financing William’s pottery business and she actively contributed ideas to his ceramics designs.
In August 1875 Evelyn sold her first work Tobias and the Angel. Her first exhibited painting, St Catherine of Alexandria was shown at the Dudley Gallery in 1876. In 1877, Evelyn exhibited two works at Dudley Gallery (for sale) and is invited to exhibit at the first Grosvenor Gallery exhibition.
In October 1991, sixteen canvases were destroyed in a fire at Bourlet's warehouse.
- Tobias and the Angel (1875)
- Cadmus and Harmonia (1877)
- Ariadne at Naxos (1877)
- Aurora Triumphans (1877–1878), Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth.
- Night and Sleep (1878)
- Goddess of Blossoms & Flowers (1880)
- The Grey Sisters (1880–81)
- Phosphorus and Hesperus (1882)
- By the Waters of Babylon (1882–83)
- Sleep and Death, the Children of the Night (1883)
- Salutation or The Visitation (1883),
- Love's Passing (1883–1884)
- Dryad (1884–85)
- Luna (1885)
- The Sea Maidens (1885–86)
- Hope in a Prison of Despair (1887)
- The Soul's Prison House (1888)
- Love, the Misleader (1889), private collection.
- Medea (1889), Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.
- Angel of Death (1890), private collection.
- The Garden of Opportunity (1892)
- Life and Thought Emerging from the Tomb (1893), Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
- Flora (1894)
- Eos (1895), Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina.
- The Undiscovered Country, Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina
- Lux in Tenebris (1895)
- Boreas and Oreithyia (1896)
- Earthbound (1897)
- Angel of Death (1897), private collection.
- Helen of Troy (1898)
- Cassandra (1898)
- The Valley of Shadows (1899)
- The Storm Spirits (1900)
- The Poor Man who Saved the City (1901)
- The Love Potion (1903)
- The Cadence of Autumn (1905)
- Queen Eleanor & Fair Rosamund (1905)
- Death of a Butterfly (c.1905–10)
- Demeter Mourning for Persephone (1906)
- Port after Stormy Seas (1905)
- The Hour-Glass (1905)
- The Prisoner (1907)
- Our Lady of Peace (1907)
- The Worship of Mammon (1909)
- Death of the Dragon (1914)
- The Vision (1914), private collection.
- The Red Cross (1918)
- The Gilded Cage (1919)
- Deianera (unknown)
- The Kingdom of Heaven Suffereth Violence
Cadmus and Harmonia
Her works are held in Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; National Trust properties Wightwick Manor and Knightshayes Court; Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, National Portrait Gallery; Southwark Art Collection.
- "Evelyn De Morgan". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/45491. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Secondo, Joellen. "De Morgan". Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 7 March 2015. (subscription required (. ))
- Smith, Elise Lawton (2002). Evelyn Pickering De Morgan and the Allegorical Body. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. ISBN 978-0-8386-3883-5.
- Gordon, Catherine (1996). Evelyn de Morgan: Oil Paintings. De Morgan Foundation. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-9528141-0-8.
- Drawmer, Lois Jane (2001). The impact of science and spiritualism on the works of Evelyn De Morgan 1870-1919 (PhD). Buckinghamshire New University.
- Marsh, Jan; Nunn, Pamela Gerrish (1989). Women Artists and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement. Virago. ISBN 978-0-86068-065-9.
- Marsh, Jan; Nunn, Pamela Gerrish (1997). Pre-Raphaelite women artists. Manchester City Art Galleries. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-901673-55-8.
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