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Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Cosway (née Hadfield)

(1760-1838), Miniature painter; pioneer of girls' education

Sitter associated with 6 portraits
Artist associated with 3 portraits
Maria Cosway trained as an artist in Italy, where she met other English artists and collectors such as Joseph Wright of Derby and Charles Townley. In 1779 she came to England with her mother, who hoped to launch her as the next Angelica Kauffman. In 1781 she married the painter Richard Cosway. (They later became estranged.) Despite his disapproval, she kept making portraits and history paintings and exhibited at the Royal Academy. Much of her work is known through prints. In 1786 the two visited Paris, where Maria had an affair with Thomas Jefferson. She later returned to copy Old Master paintings and met Napoleon’s uncle. Under his patronage she set up a girls’ school in Lyon, later opening another at Lodi.

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Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Cosway (née Hadfield), by Julien Fatou, after  Richard Cosway - NPG D13727

Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Cosway (née Hadfield)

by Julien Fatou, after Richard Cosway
stipple engraving, after 1785
NPG D13727

'A View from Mr Cosway's Breakfast-Room Pall Mall, with the Portrait of Mrs Cosway', by and published by William Russell Birch, sold by  Theophilus Thornton, after  Richard Cosway, and after  William Hodges - NPG D13728

'A View from Mr Cosway's Breakfast-Room Pall Mall, with the Portrait of Mrs Cosway'

by and published by William Russell Birch, sold by Theophilus Thornton, after Richard Cosway, and after William Hodges
stipple engraving, published 1 February 1789
NPG D13728

Web image not currently available

Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Cosway (née Hadfield)? ('The milk maid')

by James Hogg, published by John Raphael Smith, after Richard Cosway
stipple engraving, published 1 June 1785
NPG D19349

Web image not currently available

'A View from Mr Cosway's Breakfast-Room Pall Mall, with the Portrait of Mrs Cosway'

by and published by William Russell Birch, sold by Theophilus Thornton, after Richard Cosway, and after William Hodges
stipple engraving, published 1 February 1789
NPG D14342

Web image not currently available

'A View from Mr Cosway's Breakfast-Room Pall Mall, with the Portrait of Mrs Cosway'

by and published by William Russell Birch, sold by Theophilus Thornton, after Richard Cosway, and after William Hodges
stipple engraving, published 1 February 1789
NPG D20207

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