PROVENANCE: The artist's family
Fanny Eaton modelled for several of the Pre-Raphaelites from about 1859, and her distinctive features appear in many of their paintings, including Rossetti's The Beloved, Millais's Jepthah and Simeon Solomon's The Mother of Moses. Jamaican born, Fanny settled in Britain with her mother in the 1840s, taking up work as a maid and a cook.
In August 1865 Rossetti responded to an enquiry from Ford Madox Brown about Mrs. Eaton saying 'She has a very fine head & figure - a good deal of Janey [Morris]' (quoted, W.E. Fredeman et al (eds), The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Cambridge 2002-, III, p.322).