Eros in distress – (Lovely Paintings Revisited #4)

Love Locked Out (1890) – Anna M. Lea

Anna Massey Lea (1844–1930), also known as Anna Lea Merritt, was born in Philadelphia, US, but lived in England for most of her life, working as a professional artist. In 1871 she met Henry Merritt (1822–1877), a noted art critic and picture conservator, who would become her tutor and later, from 1877 onwards, her husband.

They married in mid-April 1877, but he died less than three months later, and Anna Lea never married again. In memory of her husband and of her love toward him she painted this lovely oil I show here:  Love Locked Out (1890); which would become her best-known work.

It shows Eros standing before a locked door, crestfallen and noticeably saddened and impatient while waiting for the door of death to open, and the reunion of the lonely couple.

Love Locked Out was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1890 and became the first painting by a woman artist acquired for the British national collection. A great purchase indeed !


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9 thoughts on “Eros in distress – (Lovely Paintings Revisited #4)

    1. Thanks to you for being so kind ! 🙂 ❤ ✨ Of course I’m delighted that you like my choices; I try to give some diffusion to artists not as well known as they deserve, and especially to women painters and illustrators.
      (If you receive a notification of this reply –though probably you won’t–, please, be aware that every single time you have commented one of my posts I have answered you !!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Whoa… This hits right in the feels. The arrow, the goblet or censor(?) the rose petals… the positioning of the body, where you can even see the vertebrae as he pushes at the door… What a remarkable piece of art! I have to wonder, was “mummy brown” used in this, or had that gone out of favor by this time? I’m not sure you’ll have the answers, but I have faith in your knowledge of art. 💝💗💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Liz, Dear !! ❤ ✨
      I’m glad to see you back, both on your blog and here.
      I would say it’s quite probable that Mrs. Lea still used this pigment, since it was on sale in the UK well into the 20th century, and she worked there. Anyway I have not any reliable information about this point (which is a difficult one !!). Since the alternative mineral pigments already used at the end of century provided similar results, it’s not possible, at least for me, to discern this at sight; not on a picture.
      So, you see, your faith in me has proven unfounded :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. (((Hugs))) ✨✨💗✨✨ My Ladybug!

        Ah, but you answered and provided more information than I had! I wasn’t sure when that pigment went out of favor (or mummies!) and if the coloration is quite close to other mineral pigments, it might actually take chemical analysis to determine the colors chosen, unless of course, there is some documentation by the artist. Then again, the bitumen and resin used to seal mummies may well be what became the “active ingredient” in browns at that time.

        I’m working backwards on emails. I know, it’s kind of sloppy, but it’s keeping me from losing emails, which I fear may have happened. I know I have two from you, and am headed that way.

        My faith in you is immeasurable, Love.


        1. Liz, Sis, Dear, ❤ ✨
          I do not want you to do anymore of any email from me than simply reading it, as I know you did 🙂 (I might have some twenty emails or email follow-ups by you still unanswered, or only partially answered in my draft box… :// Maybe I won’t be ever able to catch up…
          About your faith in me and your sweetness, as always, I smile and relax in pleasure :)) Thank you !
          Christmas is getting near, and though this year I am almost indifferent about it relative to my own life (no meetings, no gifts, no meals and celebrations), I wish you and your dear ones the very best Christmas I’m able to imagine or recall from my own childhood !
          Take much care, do not bake and cook too much and do not get angry (if possible) with your mother and siblings. 💋 💋 💋 !!!


  2. === Li .. how are you doing? Are things getting better for you ?
    Just remember, nothing is permanent, things are always changing– so things may change for the better in ways you can’t see now. ‘This too shall pass’. I’ve had times of utter despair & depression which felt overwhelming– but now they are distant memories. Things change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, my friend 🙂 I’m not well yet, actually. Have had a pneumonia, on top of the rest of my more chronic issues. However, I’m aged enough to know you might be right despite my present feelings. Things change indeed.
      I thank you very much for your kind words of support, and apologize for my delayed answer; I have been quite sick. Best wishes for you !!!

      Liked by 1 person

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