Anna Lea Merritt

American , 1844 - 1930

Merritt was born in Philadelphia to a prosperous, highly cultivated family. They moved temporarily to Europe in 1865, but Anna Lea moved permanently to England in 1872. She studied art in London with Henry Merritt, and married him 5 years later. Merritt was much older, and he died after only a few months of marriage. She remained in England, although she frequently returned to Philadelphia to visit her family. Anna Lea Merritt never remarried, and devoted herself to her art. She had a very successful career as a painter and print maker, executing portraits and imaginative figurative works in the Pre-Raphaelite manner. Her work was widely exhibited and praised. Several of her etchings, such as "Eve," were made by her after her own paintings. One of her most acclaimed paintings, "Love Locked Out" is in the collection of the Tate Gallery in London, and was exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2003. For extensive information on Anna Lea Merritt, see: Phyllis Peet, "American Women of the Etching Revival," High Museum, Atlanta, 1988, and "Love Locked Out:The Memoirs of Anna Lea Merritt," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, n.d..

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