The painted and musical works of the Italian-English artist Maria Cosway are now being celebrated in an exhibition running until 27 November 2022 at the Fondazione Maria Cosway, Lodi.
Cosway was born Maria Hadfield in 1760 in Florence and would go on to work successfully as a painter in England. This show recognises her talents not only as a painter and composer but also acknowledges her as a truly European figure; she befriended Thomas Jefferson whilst they were both living in France in 1786 and, in 1797, she commissioned the first portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte to arrive on British shores. Ever concerned with the education of women, Cosway founded a girl’s school in Paris and later opened a convent and school in Lodi, fittingly the present exhibition’s home.
She is also remembered as the wife of the society miniaturist Richard Cosway RA. In 2011, Sotheby’s London sold this sensitive drawing of Maria by her husband for £15,000.