Saturday, February 28, 2009

Anna Blunden - View near the Lizard

Born in London in 1829, daughter of book binders though after they moved to Exter they worked in the artificial flower and straw hat trade. She worked as a Governess 1852-3 but wanting something better self-taught herself art by copying at the British Museum and National Gallery, with some informal lessons from Ruskin (who she approached for help and corresponded with for years) and a few lessons at Leigh's. She first exhibited in 1854 and worked in portraiture as an an art teacher in Exeter. Ruskin got her a few commissions as well. She worked first in oils but later in watercolour, from the 1860's working increasingly on landscapes. She travelled on the Continent 1867-72. In 1872 she married her sisters husband on the sisters death, becoming Mrs Martino. The narriage was illegal in Britain and she married abroad. Later they settled in Birmingham and a daughter was born in 1874 (she also had step-children). She was interested in social issues and published pamphlets and perhaps her most famous painting is 'Song of the Shirt'. Her last recorded exhibition was in 1915, the year she died. Many of her works were unfortunately destroyed during the bombing of Exeter in WWII.
She painted a number of Cornish pictures, exhibited between 1863-8.

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