Evelyn De Morgan, née Pickering (British, 1855–1919)

The head of a girl



17.8 x 17.7 cm; 7 x 7 inches

Provenance: M. D. E. Clayton-Stamm, by descent until 2018.

Evelyn De Morgan, who attended the Slade School of Art, was influenced by George F. Watts and Edward Burne-Jones and by the work of her uncle John Roddam Spencer Stanhope. She often visited Stanhope in Florence, where she developed a love of the work of Botticelli and quattrocento art. She first exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877. In 1887 she married the ceramicist William De Morgan, with whom she often wintered in Florence.

It has been suggested that this may be a preliminary study for a figure in her painting The Red Cross, 1916, in the collection of the De Morgan Foundation.

Her work is held in many national collections including the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; the National Trust properties Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, and Knightshayes Court, Devon; the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth; the National Portrait Gallery, London; and the Southwark Art Collection, London.

Maxwell David Eugene Clayton-Stamm was an authority on the work of William De Morgan (on whom he published extensively), Pre-Raphaelite ceramics and the Blake-Varley sketchbook of 1819. He was a collector and bibliophile.