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Born Eva Elbourn Barrett in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, Eva Barrett was the leading society photographer in Rome in the 1920s and early 1930s. After an unsatisfactory career as a painter she took up photography with an aim to combine graphic and photographic art. Barrett moved to Rome in 1913 with the belief she would be better placed “to be a first rate photographer than a second rate artist”. Through introductions from the Marchesa San Giuliano, wife of the Italian foreign minister and ambassador to the United Kingdom, she specialised in portraits of diplomatic families and the Italian Royal family.

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