Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852 - 1936). Tapestry "The Progress of a Soul" (1893-1901)
Silk, gold and silver thread embroidery on linen.
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Phoebe Anna Traquair was an Irish artist who rose to prominence in Edinburgh and went on to produce a staggering volume of work. She was part of the Arts and Crafts movements in Scotland and worked in a number of disciplines including embroidery, jewellery making and metal work, painting, illustration and book design. She painted vast murals in several buildings including the Catholic Apostolic Church and the chapel of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, both in Edinburgh. Notably, she illuminated the book “Sonnets from the Portuguese” by the poet Elizabeth Barratt Browning, but she is probably best known today for her exquisite embroidered panels and drapes, the most spectacular of which “The Progress of a Soul” (part of which is seen above) now resides in the National Gallery of Scotland in Ediburgh.
Traquair is a unique figure in both British Art and the Arts and Crafts movement, and she has been identified as the first significant professional woman artist in modern Scotland.