Sophie Gengembre Anderson

1823 – 10 March 1903

Style: Impressionist, Portraits

Background: Sophie was born in Paris, the daughter of Charles Gengembre in 1823, an architect, and his English wife.

Education: She was largely self-taught in art, but briefly studied portraiture with Charles de Steuben in Paris in 1843.

Achievements: The family left France for the United States to escape the 1848 Revolution, first settling in  Cincinnati, Ohio, then Manhcester, Pensslyvania, where she met and married British genre artist Walter Anderson.

In the USA, Anderson initially worked in portraiture. In 1854 the Andersons moved to London, where Sophie exhibited her works at the Royal Academy.They returned to New York in 1858, then settled in London again around 1863. In 1871, they moved to the island of Capri for health reasons, but Sophie continued to send her work back to London for exhibitions.

Anderson’s work was widely exhibited at venues including the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), the British Institution, Grosvenor Gallery (1878-87) and many regional galleries in England. She also exhibited in the USA at the Pittsburgh Artists Association and the National Academy of Design, New York. Her early works showed strong attention to botanical and other detail, in common with the Pre-Raphaelites.

She died at home in Falmouth, Cornwall in 1903. Her husband Walter died in the same year. Her brother Henry P. Gengembre (b. 1825) was also an artist, active in Cincinnati in the early 1850s.

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.

Famous Works:

Sophie Gengembre Anderson - A Head of a Nymph

Sophie Gengembre Anderson – A Head of a Nymph

Sophie Gengembre Anderson - Her Favorite Pets

Sophie Gengembre Anderson – Her Favorite Pets

Sophie Gengembre Anderson - Portrait of Young Girl

Sophie Gengembre Anderson – Portrait of Young Girl

Sophie Gengembre Anderson - The Bird's Nest

Sophie Gengembre Anderson – The Bird’s Nest

Sophie Gengembre Anderson - The Time of the Lilacs

Sophie Gengembre Anderson – The Time of the Lilacs