Urgent Museum Notice


Close up of Eve

Reddish-brown print of a light-skinned nude female who sits in profile in front of a large twisted tree. She is bent over at the waist, hugs her bent knees with outstretched arms, and rests her head on her knees facing away from the viewer. A partially eaten apple rest in front.

Anna Lea Merritt, Eve, 1887; Etching on paper, 18 x 24 1/4 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Purchased with funds donated by the Ott family in honor of Louise S. Ott

Anna Lea Merritt

As a young girl, Anna Lea Merritt taught herself to paint, but later she studied anatomy at the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. After moving to Europe with her family in 1865, she took formal art lessons in Italy, Germany, and France, becoming a versatile artist and writer.

She learned the art of etching to memorialize her late husband, British painter Henry Merritt. Twenty three of her prints illustrated a book of his art criticism and fiction.

In 1885, Merritt exhibited at the Royal Academy in London a painting executed in the Pre-Raphaelite manner. Entitled Eve Overcome by Remorse, the vibrantly colored, sensuous composition served as the source for this etching. Eve served as the “diploma plate” that Merritt donated to the London Society of Etchers upon her election to its membership.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Anna Lea Merritt
  • Title

  • Date

  • Medium

    Etching on paper
  • Dimensions

    13 1/8 x 18 7/8 in.
  • Donor Credit

    Purchased with funds donated by the Ott family in honor of Louise S. Ott
  • On Display