Fanny Eaton

Simeon Solomon British
Sitter Fanny Eaton (née Antwistle/Entwistle) British, born Jamaica

Not on view

This sitter was born Fanny Entwistle in Jamaica in 1835 to a Black mother recently freed from slavery. Her father may have been a white Scottish soldier who died soon after her birth. Mother and daughter moved to London in the 1840s, where Fanny married a horse-cab driver in 1857 and began to model for artists by 1859. Her biracial features helped Solomon breathe new life into Old Testament subjects. The young artist explored his Jewish heritage and followed Pre-Raphaelite precepts when he added authentic archaeological details to biblical compositions. He used studies of Fanny to reimagine ancient Hebrew heroines as dark-skinned and Semitic rather than white European. This drawing—dated October 2—is, however, more of a sensitive portrait than a study "in character."

Fanny Eaton, Simeon Solomon (British, London 1840–1905 London), Graphite

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