Capri Girl with Flowers

Capri Girl with Flowers, c. 1878
Sophie Anderson (1823-1903)
Oil on canvas
BORGM 00114
© Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Morning Room 

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Capri Girl with Flowers

This painting is inset into the mantelpiece in the Morning Room and was painted while the artist was living on the Isle of Capri, Italy.  We believe that Merton chose this picture specifically for this location. He then commissioned a local carpentry firm, William Mabey & Sons, to make the ornate framing.

Sophie Gengembre Anderson was a French-born British artist who specialised in the genre painting of children and women, typically in rural settings. She studied and worked in both America and England, where she exhibited at Royal Society of British Artists and the British Institution.  Due to ill-health, she and her husband moved to the Isle of Capri, Italy in 1871, where there was a thriving artists’ colony. In the same year, her work, Elaine, was the first public collection purchase of a woman artist.

She returned to England in 1894 and settled in Falmouth, Cornwall where she died in 1903. Anderson’s work No Walk Today was sold for over £1,000,000 at Sotheby’s in 2008, making her ‘Cornwall’s first million-pound female artist’.

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