Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The beautiful paintings of Annie Louisa (Robinson) Swynnerton (1844-1933)
Annie was one of seven daughters born in Kersal, near Manchester, England, to a lawyer father, Francis Robinson. When the family had financial troubles, it was Annie who began painting watercolors for money. She studied at Manchester School of Art and with Susan Dacre, went to study in Rome for two years beginning in 1874. Upon their return to Manchester, they joined together in founding the Manchester Society for Women Painters. Susan and Annie studied in Paris at the Academie Julie from 1877-1880. It was here that Annie painted the portrait of Susan Dacre she gave to Manchester City Art Gallery in 1932 and remains today. Two of Annie’s paintings were also included in the summer exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery in 1882. One year later, she married sculptor Joseph Swynnerton whom she met in Rome. Anne was a great believer in equality for women in art, as well as, being an active feminist and suffragette. In 1889 Anne Swynnerton signed the Declaration in Favour of women’s Suffrage and in 1897 signed the claim for women’s suffrage, both published by the Central Committee. In 1893 Anne Swynnerton sent her painting, Florence Nightingale at Scutari, to the Women’s Exhibition at Chicago. In June 1911 she headed the section of Chelsea artists in the Coronation Procession organized by the women’s suffrage societies. In 1930 Annie’s portrait of Millicent Garrett Fawcett was bought by the Chantrey Bequest and is now held by the Tate Gallery. Among other sitters she painted were the two young sons of Christiana Herringham and the husband of author Elizabeth Gaskell, Rev. William Gaskell, as well as, novelist Henry James. In 1922, she was elected ARA which was strongly backed by John Singer Sargent and she was still exhibiting at the Royal Academy during the year of her death in 1933. She left a bequest to the artist Francis Dodd, in memory of her friend Susan Dacre.
Annie Swynnerton painting one of her most recognizable paintings, Sense of Sight,' 1895
Annie Swynnerton's portrait of lifelong friend and artist Susan Dacre
Rev. William Gaskell by Annie Swynnerton
Author, Henry James, by Annie Swynnerton
Evelyn by Annie Swynnerton
The Glow Worm by Anne Swynnerton
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