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Maria Cosway (11 June 1760-5 Jan. 1838); Italian-English artist, who exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. She also worked in France, where she cultivated a large circle of friends and clients, and later in Italy. She commissioned the first portrait of Napoleon to be seen in England. Her paintings and engravings are held by the British Museum, the New York Public Library and the British Library. Her work was included in recent exhibits at the National Portrait Gallery in London, 1995–96, and the Tate Britain, 2006.
Cosway was an accomplished composer, musician, and society hostess with her husband, painter Richard Cosway.
She is notable for sharing a short romantic relationship with the American statesman Thomas Jefferson in 1786 while he served in Paris as the American envoy to France. They kept up a lifelong correspondence until his death in 1826....
Cosway was born Maria Luisa Caterina Cecilia Hadfield (pronounced Mariah) in 1760 in Florence... One of 8 children, Maria demonstrated artistic talent at a young age...
Four of the Hadfield children were killed by a mentally ill nursemaid, who was caught after being overheard talking about killing Maria. The nurse claimed that her young victims would be sent to Heaven after she killed them. She was sentenced to life in prison. Maria, her brothers Richard and George, and a younger sister Charlotte were the survivors.
,,,,On 18 Jan. 1781, Maria Hadfield married a fellow artist, the celebrated miniature portrait painter Richard Cosway, in what is thought to have been a marriage of convenience. He was 20 years her senior, known as a libertine, and was repeatedly unfaithful to her. Richard was "commonly described as resembling a monkey."
When in Lyon, France, Cosway made a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin Mary at Loreto to fulfill a vow she had made after giving birth to a living child. While she was travelling on the continent, her young daughter died. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Cosway) undefined