Marcella Walker (flourished 1872-1917)

Marcella Walker was a painter and illustrator working in the last decades of the 19th Century, and up to at least 1917, living in North London. She exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1876-1917, mainly sentimental subjects with titles like ‘Good night’, ‘Golden pets’, ‘The little sister’, ‘The invalid’ and so forth. Those of her paintings I have seen in reproduction – and I have not seen any actual ones on the walls of the galleries – are rather feeble, overly-rosy figure pieces of too-sweet girls.

Marcella Walker appears on these pages, then, rather for her black and white illustrations than for her paintings. She contributed to the Illustrated London News and other periodicals in the 1880s and 1890s, and in particular, did a month-by-month series in the Girl’s Own Paper showing the latest fashions, which are a cut above her other work. The faces are conventional but pretty, and there is a degree of modelling and seriousness to the subject which place these pictures above the merely competent.

Illustration by Marcella Walker

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