A fierce advocate of pacifism, De Morgan used her work to respond to the global conflicts unfolding around her at the turn of the 20th century.
Born in 1855 de Morgan was alive to witness the horrors of both the Boer War and the First World War. In the spring of 1916 she held a solo exhibition of works denouncing the fighting, with all of the proceeds going to the Red Cross. Many of the paintings from this show are now on display at Blackwell.
De Morgan started drawing as a teenager, writing in her diary aged 17: 'Art is eternal, but life is short... I have not a moment to lose'. After persuading her parents to let her study at Slade School of Art she went on to become a prolific painter; her distinctive style combined early Italian Renaissance aesthetics with that of her Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries.