Anna Elizabeth BLUNDEN

Inspired by Ruskin's Modern Painters, Blunden abandoned her career as a governess in order to become an artist. She exhibited from 1853, attracting Ruskin's attention in 1859 when she exhibited God's Gothic and Past and Present at the RA. The work that merits her inclusion in the Cornwall Artists Index was painted in watercolour at Lizard Point in 1862. 

Encouraged by Ruskin, she visited and worked in Italy from 1867 to 1872.  Blunden (or Mrs Martino) married her late sister's husband in Germany, then settled near Birmingham and exhibited there until her death.

A recent correspondent (May 2011) reports a watercolour painting of 'Mullion Island from Polurrian [sic] Cove' dated 1900, which was inherited from a family who lived in the same street as Mrs Martino (Anna B) in the Birmingham area.  This may indicate further visit(s) to Cornwall for painting opportunities.

A correspondent (2019) suggests that Anna Blunden painted a lot in the Lizard area in the 1860s, and was thought to have been acquainted with the Rev. Edmond George Harvey, vicar of Mullion from 1865 to 1881. Her address was given as 'The Lizard' at the Liverpool Exhibition. During this time she had three Cornish paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy: 'Kynance Cove' (1863), 'Mullion Cove' (1864) and 'Tintagel' (1867).

At the Bath & West Country show of 1863 she exhibited 'Lizard Point' and also 'Lizard Light'. The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society noted her fascination with the Lizard area the same year, and in 1864 at the Society for British Artists 41st exhibition she showed 'The Cathedral Rock, Mullion'. 

In 1900 at the Autumn exhibition of the RBSA, Anna Blunden Martino (as signed) hung A Cornish Cathedral: Symphony of Evensong, which was to be sold at  £25.

C Wood comments that A W Hunt, Holman Hunt and David Roberts all admired her works.


Painter in watercolours and oils

works and access

Works include: The Lizard Point, Cornwall (1862)

Access to work: Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester



misc further info

E-mail correspondence in file.


Wood (1995) Victorian Painters (with bibl)

RBSA Exhibition lists, autumn 1900 pp58-63 (photocopies of final 5 pp, a total of 777 exhibits listed for sale)