Fanny Eaton (1835-1924) was born in Jamaica. She was the daughter of woman of African descent and a white man. As a child, her family moved to England. In 1857, Eaton married the man with whom she would have 10 children.
Eaton began modelling for the Pre-Raphaelite artists around the time that she got married. In 1859, Simeon Solomon did the earliest sketches of her. She would also serve as the muse to Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Albert Moore, Rebecca Solomon, Joanna Boyce and many others. Her modelling career lasted for about a decade.
Eaton’s career may have been short but it was significant in the number of artists who were inspired by her as well as the fact that she was praised for her beauty as a black mixed-race woman during the Victorian era.
Eaton’s husband died in 1881 and by then she was working as a seamstress. She died in 1924.-Heidi Durrow
Fanny Eaton: The Black Pre-Raphaelite Muse that Time Forgot, AnOther March 7, 2016.
Fanny Eaton: Forgotten Beauty, Carribbean Beat by Judy Raymond Jan./Feb. 2017.
Mixed Experience History Month is the annual blog post series created by The New York Times best-selling author Heidi Durrow celebrating the history of the Mixed experience. Established in 2007, Mixed Experience History Month is an effort to highlight the long history of folks and events involved in the Mixed experience. Please look for archived profiles of people, places and events of the Mixed experience every weekday of May! Thanks for reading. And check out some of the previous year’s profiles: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.