Description: Anna Lea Merritt, A.R.E. (1844-1930)
signed and dated 'Anna Lea Merritt 1885' (lower left)
oil on canvas
30 x 43 in. (76.8 x 109.2 cm.)
Exhibited: London, Royal Academy, 1885, no. 126.
Provenance: with Richard Green, London.
Anonymous Sale; Christie's, London, 8 June, 2006, lot 214.
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The American artist Anna Lea was the first woman to have a painting bought by the Chantrey Bequest. Love Locked Out, now in Tate Britain, was conceived as a monument to her husband, Henry Merritt, who had died within a year of her marriage. She later wrote of the painting: 'I feared people liked it as a symbol of forbidden love, while my Love was waiting for the door of Death to open and the reunion of the lonely pair'.
Born in America, she arrived in London after completing her artistic education in Paris, Rome and Dresden. She often visited America, and the present painting which was known there as Eve overcome by Remorse won accolades when exhibited in Chicago in 1893.