Water Color Paintings by Amelia Jane Murray (Lady Oswald) (1800 – 1896 British)

Amelia (Emily) Jane Murray (1800 – 1896) was born on the Isle of Man into a wealthy family as the daughter of Lord Henry Murray. Of note, the Isle of Mann had a particularly rich history in fairies and the town she was born in ‘Port-e-Chee’ meant ‘Fairy Music’ in Gaelic, so early on she was influenced by a strong presence of fairy lore and belief. She illustrated these whimsical images early in her life, during her twenties. She married Sir John Oswald of Dunniker at twenty-nine, late in life by the standards of the day, and took over as wife to her husband’s six children. She also went on to have two children of her own. With the marriage, she became known as ‘Lady Oswald’. and referred to as Amelia Jane Murray (Lady Oswald). Also due to her marriage, she discontinued painting due to the demands of her family life, so the below images are from a short period in her life. She would live for another 50 years after her husbands death in 1840 and died at the age of 96.

Her watercolor images with fairies and local flora and fauna, were some of the earliest artwork of the developing fairy genre in England, which would continue to gain popularity and momentum during the later 1800’s and early 1900’s, and her work has carved out a unique niche alongside the generations of later fairy illustrators and artists such as Danny, Severn and David Scott, Daniel Maclise and later Arthur Rackam, W. Heath Robison and H. J. Ford.

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