Sophie Anderson was born in Paris, the daughter of a French father Charles Gengembre, and an English mother. She studied under Baron Alexander Joseph Steuben (1914-1862), a painter of historical subjects and portraits but at the outbreak of the 1848 revolution, she and her family left for the United States. Here, Sophie Anderson established herself as a portrait painter, exhibiting at the National Academy and met and married Walter Anderson (fl.1856-1886), an English landscape painter. They returned to England in 1854 living first in Dalston before moving to Gloucester Terrace and Bramley in Surrey.
She first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1855 “Virgin and Child”, subsequently exhibiting genre paintings at which she excelled, imbued with sentiment and painted with a detailed, highly finished technique. In 1871 the Andersons moved to Capri for reasons of health where Sophie continued to paint, sending works to London for exhibition at the Royal Academy, British Institution, Suffolk Street and the Grosvenor Galleries. The Andersons returned to England around 1890, and settled in Falmouth.
Her works can be seen in museums in: Birmingham City Art Gallery; Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery and Leicester.