'The sense of sight', Annie Louisa Swynnerton, 1895
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 87.3 x 101cm
Accession Number: WAG 2640
Annie Swynnerton (1844-1933)
The senses were a favourite subject for artists in the 17th century. They were usually represented in a fairly literal manner.
Swynnerton, however, has painted an angel who seems to have descended to earth and now relies on her sight to re-establish her links with heaven. Her rapturous expression suggests not just sight but a vision.
Swynnerton was a strong believer in equality for women in art. She was a founder of the Manchester Society of Women Painters. In 1922 she became the first female associate of the Royal Academy since the 18th century.