Kate Perugini


Artist Biography:

Catherine Elizabeth Macready Perugini was an English painter of the Victorian era and the daughter of Charles Dickens. Catherine, nicknamed Kate or Katey, was Dickens' youngest surviving daughter, and according to her siblings her father's favourite child. She travelled widely with her family as a child, and performed in her father's elaborate amateur theatrical productions — including the 1857 performance of Wilkie Collins's The Frozen Deep before Queen Victoria. Kate Dickens studied at Bedford College, the first institution of higher learning for women in Britain. Her first husband was the artist and author Charles Allston Collins, younger brother of Wilkie Collins; they married in 1860. After his death from cancer in 1873, Kate married another artist, Charles Edward Perugini. She became a successful painter of portraits and genre paintings, sometimes collaborating with Perugini. She started exhibiting her works at the Royal Academy shows in 1877. The Peruginis were active in artistic society, and maintained friendships with J. M. Barrie and George Bernard Shaw among other celebrities of their era. In 1880 Sir John Everett Millais painted her in one of his "most striking portraits”. Millais had previously used her as a model for his painting The Black Brunswicker, 1860.

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