Study of Arms for "The Cadence of Autumn"
Influenced by late-Pre-Raphaelitism, and contemporaries such as Edward Burne-Jones and Frederic Leighton, De Morgan made detailed drawings as she prepared paintings. This study relates to "The Cadence of Autumn" (1902, De Morgan Foundation, London) which uses young women in an elegant frieze-like arrangement to connect seasonal rhythms to human mortality—with notes of redemptive hope reflecting the artist’s personal belief in spiritualism. Early in her career, Evelyn (née Pickering) won prizes at the South Kensington and Slade Schools, visited Italy, and then won critical acclaim for works shown at London’s Dudley Gallery and Grosvenor Gallery in 1876-77. She married the influential and experimental potter William De Morgan in 1887, then used money earned from her art to help sustain her husband's business.