Emily Osborn was one of the most successful female artists of the Victorian period.

Osborn specialised in 'themes of victimised and distressed young women', as in her best-known picture, 'Nameless and Friendless', now in a private collection. This work is a considerably worked-up and richly-detailed study for the larger painting. Both depict an impoverished young woman artist who, accompanied by her even younger brother, has trudged through the rain to a London picture-dealer shop to show and, she hopes, to sell her works. Being female and without an artistic reputation, or marketable 'name', she is greeted with disdain on the part of the supercilious proprietor, while two men distracted from examining a print of a ballerina glance up to appraise the woman purely for her personal attractions.


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