Evelyn de Morgan
Evelyn De Morgan (1855 – 1919) was a painter who defied the expectations of her class and gender to become one of the most impressive artists of a generation. Her richly coloured canvases featuring beautifully draped figures, deliver messages of feminism, spirituality and the rejection of war and material wealth, making them incredibly relevant today.
“At work a little after 7… 17 today, that is to say seventeen years wasted in eating, dawdling and frittering time away… Art is eternal, but life is short… I will make up for it now, I have not a moment to lose.”
Evelyn De Morgan’s diary, 30th August 1872, De Morgan Foundation Archive
Night and Sleep is an 1878 painting by Evelyn De Morgan, an English painter whose works were influenced by the style of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. In the painting dark-haired Night guides her son Sleep. His relaxed pose is set against the “more energetic line of his mother’s body.” Art historian Elise Lawton Smith notes that the couple’s “horizontality suggests both sleep and lateral movement as they pass across the landscape”. Poppies, symbolic of sleep, peace, death and the artist’s pacifism, are listlessly strewn by the somnolent Sleep as he passes.