Anderson, Sophie (1823-1903)

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Unrecorded in surveys of Cornwall's painters, Sophie Anderson became the first Cornwall- based woman artist to have a painting sell for over a million pounds at auction- "No walk today" sold at Sotheby's. lot 96, on 19th November 2008 for £1,038050.

She had an international standing and influence, including on the Pre-Raphaelites, and was a major figure in the artists' colony at Capri which included John Singer Sargent, Frederic Leighton, Walter McLaren, Jean Benner and Edouard Alexandre Sain. She spent the latter years of her life in Falmouth living with her artist husband, Walter, in Woodlane Cottage (which still exists). They are buried in the same grave in Falmouth cemetery.

Anderson was a major exhibitor at the opening exhibition of the first Falmouth Art Gallery which started in Grove Place in 1894. The Falmouth Packet reported "First among the pictures comes a large and beautifully arranged group of roses by the veteran painter Sophie Anderson, whose famous picture The Choristers has been known and appreciated in every land. Daring and rich in colour and design the hangers Messrs C. Napier Hemy and W. Ayerst Ingram have given it the post of honour in the line as number one"