Mrs Fanny Eaton, c.1859–1860, black, red & white chalk on cream wove paper by Walter Fryer Stocks (1842–1915)

Originally published on Art UK and BBC Arts.

When we think of Pre-Raphaelite women, the first vision that comes to mind is probably porcelain skin and flaming auburn hair, the angular face of Jane Morris and the ethereal beauty of Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Siddal.

Mirroring Victorian attitudes and demographics, representations of idealised beauty in Britain (and western art in general) were typically 'white'. However, you may be surprised to learn that one of the most influential muses to the Pre-Raphaelites during the mid-nineteenth century was Fanny Eaton (1835–1924), a Jamaican-born woman who came to London as an infant – shortly after the abolition of slavery in British colonies.

Read the full article on Art UK.

Using Format