MEEN, Margaret

1751 - 1834

Margaret Meen was born in Suffolk around 1751, daughter of Henry Meen, an apothecary at Halestom, Norfolk then at Bungay in Suffolk, but Margaret lived most of her life in London as a working artist and teacher. It is not yet known where Meen developed her skill as an artist. Margaret’s brother Henry (2 December 1744-3 January 1817) was Prebend of Twyford and his status in London allowed Margaret to meet the upper echelon of British aristocracy and Margaret’s talent as an artist was soon recognised with one of her most celebrated patrons being Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, who wrote in her diary in 1789 that she 'drew with Miss Mean[sic] from 10 till one'. The queen’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was also an artist and her painting ‘Flower Piece with Bird’s Nest’ (1792) is modelled after Meen’s work. A botanical painter in watercolour of flower paintings and was a member and exhibitor at the Royal Academy 1777-1785 and an Associate from 1810 exhibiting in 1777-1778 from Mr. Brown’s, 62 Portland Square, 1779 and 1781 from 85 Quenn Ann Street East and in 1785 from 12 Little Marylebone Street, all in London also exhibiting at the Royal Watercolour Society. The founder of the magazine ‘Exotic Plants from the Royal Gardens at Kew’ (1790), which she dedicated to Queen Charlotte, but which only lasted for two issues. Meen spent her later years as a drawing tutor for families and for larger groups of students at a school in Notting Hill, London, among her pupils were the four Smith sisters, Maria, Eliza, Augusta and Emma, daughters of Joshua Smith (1733-1819) of Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire. Margaret Meen was buried at St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, Bath, Somerset on 9 January 1834, her age was given as 82.

Works by This Artist