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Evelyn Pickering

Other names: Mary Evelyn Pickering, Evelyn De Morgan


A Pre-Raphaelite painter, Evelyn displayed a talent for drawing from an early age, and she later decided to become a professional artist, to the disapproval of her parents. He uncle, the artist John Roddam Spencer-Stanhope, encouraged her to pursue her interest and he acquainted her with Italian Renaissance painting which was to later influence her work. From 1873 she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London where she won several awards for painting and drawing. She began to travel to Italy between 1975 and 1977, and on her return to London she exhibited her first work, Ariadne in Naxos, completed in 1875, at the Grosvenor Gallery. After her marriage to William De Morgan, they moved to Chelsea, but spent the winters at Florence. Evelyn's work gained critical acclaim and her income helped her husband finance his pottery business. A prolific artist, the subjects of her paintings include mythology, literature, and later, female figures set in landscapes. She was a highly ambitious and independent artist, and she was influenced by the artists she studied during her travels to Italy, particularly Botticelli, with the Pre-Raphaelites influencing her later works. Her sharp attention to detail and highly accomplished technical skills were were highly praised, and was she proclaimed as the best female artist of her time. Evelyn died of nephritis and the house she had shared with her husband.

Place of birth: London
Place of death: Chelsea, London 
Place of burial: Brookwood cemetery, Surrey

Daughter of Percival Pickering and Anna Maria Spencer-Stanhope. She married William De Morgan in 1887, and had no issue.




Matthew, H. C., B. Harrison et al. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004-2018.

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