|Name:||Sophie Gengembre Anderson|
|Death Date:||(1903-03-10)10 March 1903
Falmouth, Cornwall, England
|Birth Place:||Paris, British|
As per our current Database, Sophie Gengembre Anderson died on (1903-03-10)10 March 1903
Falmouth, Cornwall, England.
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She had two brothers, Philip and Henry P. Gengembre. Her brother Philip changed his name to Philip Hubert, using his grandmother's maiden name, and was a successful architect in New York City. She was largely self-taught in art, but briefly studied portrait painting with Charles de Steuben in about 1843, when she lived with family friends in Paris. Soon after she began her studies, he left for Russia and did not return within the one year allotted for her studies. She did develop relationships with other women artists at the school where she gained a little more instruction.
Her portrait, figure and Brittany landscape paintings were exhibited in October 1849 at the Western Art Union Gallery. Also exhibited was a three panel set of Victorian London scenes entitled The Ladder of Love, which was described as "the lady, in her flowery 'May of Life,' awaits in her father's garden a stolen interview with her lover; in the second, she is seen eagerly caught in his impatient arms, ere he has yet left the ladder upon which he surmounted the garden wall; in the third, having received and given reveals of unfaltering love, she walks alone again – beautiful in the enrobing light of a summer moon, happy in the assurance that the warmth and devotedness of her affection is reciprocated."
In 1851 four or more of her illustrations were included in the Historical Collections of the Great West by Henry Howe. She collaborated with Walter Anderson, her future husband, on portraits of Protestant Episcopal bishops and created other portraits in her business.
In 1854 the Andersons moved to London, where Sophie exhibited a still life of fruit, vegetables, game, and fish entitled An American Market Basket at the Society of British Artists by 1855. It was considered an "admirable composition" made with "surprising truth". Her genre pieces were also exhibited at the Royal Academy. They returned to Pennsylvania in 1858 for a long visit with her family, during which time she exhibited at the Pittsburgh Artist's Association in 1859 and 1860. The latter year she and her husband had work shown at the National Academy of Design. She then settled in London again around 1863.
Anderson's work was widely exhibited at venues including the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), and the British Institution. Her work, Elaine, was one of the first public collection purchases of a living woman artist. The Marquis de Murrieta contributed the painting A Fairy Messenger to a mixed charity exhibition in 1871.
To manage her health issue, the couple moved to the Isle of Capri in 1871, where they lived, painted, and entertained society in a house with a large garden called Villa Castello. Capri was an artist colony at that time, its residents included Frederic Leighton, Walter McLaren, John Singer Sargent, Edouard Alexandre Sain, and Jean Benner. She exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery between 1878 and 1887. Anderson made Italian genre and Neoclassical paintings, including paintings of peasant women and children. At a time when it was difficult for women to have a successful artistic career, these paintings, generally made by men, allowed for her to have a successful career.
The couple moved to England in 1894 and lived and painted in Wood Lane Cottage in Falmouth, Cornwall. She continued to exhibit her work in London. On 11 January 1903 her husband Walter died and two months later, on 10 March 1903, she died at home in Falmouth. She was buried at Swanvale cemetery in Falmouth in the same grave as her husband.
A world record price for her work of more than £1 million was achieved by No Walk Today at Sotheby's, London, in November 2008. It made her "Cornwall's first million-pound female artist."