Evelyn De Morgan

Hi everyone! This week I want to talk about a 19th century female artist called Evelyn De Morgan. Morgan was an English artist, whose artwork is highly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite Movement; this movement involved some individuals, from England, who were interested in adapting Raphael’s soft style and tone throughout their artists, with a combination of modern techniques. Also, Morgan started to paint at a young age. When she was only 17 years old, she said that “Art is eternal, but life is short… [therefore,] I will make up for it now, I have not a moment to lose” (books.google.com)

A painting created by her in 1878 is called Night and Sleep. 

Evelyn de Morgan, Night and Sleep, 1878

Image from Wikipedia

Here we see a allegorical representation of night, who is wearing pink clothes and is flying in the sky, holding onto to her son, sleep. Sleep is carrying flowers with him that are casually being dropped into the world; this scene represents an allegory of when night comes, we often feel tired. The flowers, which are poppies, can create this idea that sleep is making everyone on Earth, which we cannot see, tired.

We can definitely see a reference to Raphael here, especially in the way the clothes highlight the figures’ bodies. We can also see influence through the light and soft tones that are not highlighting the muscles but are instead idealistically representing the body. Furthermore, we can see a reference to Raphael with the blue background and landscape.

Another example of her work was created in 1894, and it is called Flora.

Evelyn de Morgan, Flora, 1894

Image from Wikipedia

This painting is meant to represent the figure of the goddess of flowers.  Morgan makes Flora the focal point of the narrative, and she blocks off the background with a fruited tree to further emphasize the figure. Here we see Flora staring at the viewers, in a beautiful yellowish-goldish, flowery gown. She is holding onto some flowers. Her hair is almost floating in the air in a curly manner.

Morgan was clearly influenced by Botticelli, particularly his representations of Venus in the Birth of Venus and in Primavera. Flora has the same orange flowy hair we see in Botticelli’s paintings. She also has a similar pose, with one leg holding all the weight of the body.

Similar to the painting above, we can see this subtle reference to Raphael’s style. We can see this through a soft representation of the human body in Flora.

Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, 1485-6Botticelli, Primavera, 1477-1482

All Images from Wikipedia | Birth of Venus is from Wikipedia | Primavera is from Wikipedia

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