Mary Evelina Kindon was an accomplished British painter of genre scenes who exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy. With exquisite details, her vivid watercolours record everyday moments with charm and aplomb.
Her precocious talent with a pencil became apparent early in life and she was tutored by Edward Goodall (1795-1870) who was known for his engravings after JMW Turner. To hone her skills, she copied numerous works at the National Gallery, which resulted in various commissions including a rather illustrious one from Prince Leopold.
Determined to develop further, Kindon worked tirelessly to gain access to Royal Academy Schools, where she passed through each year with considerable success. This was followed by a spell in Paris working in the studios of M Glaize and Colarossi. It’s fair to say that the mainstay of her education was based upon classical ideals, copying the old masters, and drawing. This, in turn, underpinning her skill for fine watercolours.
However, rather than paint religious or allegorical works, Kindon applied her artistic training to gentle interiors. Capturing everyday scenes within the homes of people she knew. Her admirers were generally female and she essentially painted women, for women. It’s telling that her only press review of any note was produced by ‘The Queen’, a lady’s newspaper.
Kindon had considerable success and exhibited widely at venues both in the UK and France, such as the Royal Academy, the Institute of Painters in Watercolors, the Société des Artistes Français and the Paris Salon. It’s tempting to consider that her finer style of genre painting was received more favourably across the channel.
Towards the end of her life, Kindon moved in with another female artist, Janet Archer (fl.1873-1916) who also exhibited at the Royal Academy. Both were spinsters, dedicated to their art. Archer was trained by the well-loved Academy man Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914).
Today, Mary Evelina Kindon’s watercolours radiate with sophistication. She was one of the more important female artists of her generation yet still remains underrated.
Bushey Museum holds examples of her work.
Born in Southwark, Surrey, England.
Studied under Edward Goodall.
Began studying at the Royal Academy Schools.
Debuted at the Royal Academy with ‘An English Girl’. She exhibited a total of 19 works over a 25-year period.
1901 & 1911
Living as a boarder with Janet Archer (fl. 1873–1916) another artist who exhibited at the RA and trained under Hubert von Herkomer in Bushey.
Died in Watford, England.