- Joan Hichberger
[née Thompson, Elizabeth Southerden]
(b Lausanne, Nov 3, 1846; d Gormanston, Ireland, Oct 2, 1933).
English painter. She was the elder daughter of Thomas James and Christiana (née Weller) Thompson, members of London’s literary and artistic circles and close friends of Charles Dickens. Both she and her sister (the poet and essayist Alice Meynell) were educated by their father. She spent much of her childhood in Italy, but the family returned to England in 1860 so that she could have professional tuition. She became a student in the elementary class at the Female School of Art, South Kensington, London, and, after a further interval of travel and residence on the Continent, obtained a place in the antique and life classes at the school in 1866. Her main rival for academic honours there was Kate Greenaway. In 1869 the family lived in Florence, where she studied drawing at the Accademia di Belle Arti with Giuseppe Bellucci (1827–82). Her first recorded painting was a religious work, ...