Embodying the woman artist In 1857, Emily Mary Osborn exhibited the modern-life painting Nameless and Friendless at the Royal Academy. Osborn was an experienced exhibitor at the RA and this work was the second painting she showed in this venue to focus on the roles of contemporary women. Over the next decade, she would produce many modern-life paintings exploring the lives of women and their struggles for independence in the wider arena of socio-economic and political life in mid-Victorian England.