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Anna Merritt

(1844—1930) figure painter and etcher


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(b Philadelphia, PA, 13 Sept 1844; d Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hants, 7 April 1930), painter, muralist and printmaker, active in England. She is best known for her Victorian portraits, allegorical and religious paintings, landscapes and floral scenes and was successful in spite of the difficulties that she encountered as a professional woman artist working in Victorian England. After brief artistic tours to Florence, Dresden and Paris, where she studied in the atelier of Léon Cogniet (1794–1880), she began intensive instruction in 1870 from Henry Merritt (1822–77), an Englishman who restored works of art from important collections and wrote on art, exhibitions and conservation. Anna Lea and Henry Merritt were married in July 1877; three months later he died. Love Locked out (1889; London, Tate), depicting love at the door of a tomb, was painted as a memorial to her husband. This was the first painting by a woman to be purchased by the Chantrey Bequest. In order to illustrate her publication of Merritt's writings, she learned to etch and became recognized as a leading woman etcher.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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