Eva Barrett (1879–1950)

A distinguished English photographer, Eva was born at Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, and began to try her hand as a painter. Unsuccessful in that field, she decided to practise photography instead, and worked for some time at the Lafayette studio. As Italy had fewer studio photographers compared to Britain at the time, so she decided to move to Rome in 1913 and set up her own studio there. She began to find work amongst British and American residing in Rome, who appreciated her portraits executed in the style of artistic sketches. Her reputation began to spread rapidly, and she was soon creating portraits for family members of diplomats and ambassadors. Her career advanced markedly after she began to receive commissions from the Italian royal family, and with these connections, her fame grew rapidly. She was regularly photographing members of other European royal families, heads of state (including Mussolini), politicians, and various other notable and popular society personages. Her photographs appeared in numerous newspapers, both in Italy and abroad, and they featured regularly in Tatler. She also exhibited regularly and carefully controlled and promoted her brand herself, ensuring that she received credit for her photographs when they were published. Eva worked in Italy for almost thirty years until the advent of the fascist regime and the Second World War in 1939 reduced demand for her work. She sold her studio and returned to Britain in 1945. Despite her fame and prominence as a photographer, she fell into obscurity soon after her death.









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