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Maria Hadfield Cosway
Birth: Jun. 11, 1760
Provincia di Firenze
Toscana, Italy
Death: Jan. 5, 1838
Provincia di Lodi
Lombardia, Italy

Artist. Born Maria Louisa Catherine Cecilia Hadfield in Florence, Italy to English parents. Convent educated, her talent for art was recognized early and she studied both in Italy and England. At nineteen she was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. She traveled to England at the invitation of Angelica Kauffman who introduced her to society. She met Richard Cosway, who was well regarded as a miniature painter. They married in London on January 18, 1781. American Ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson, met the Cosways in August 1786 at the Halle aux Bleds in Paris. Maria and Jefferson developed a deep infatuation for one another. Jefferson was smitten during their acquaintanceship; he wrote a now famous love letter known as "A Dialogue Between the Head and Heart" in which Jefferson compares his desire for Maria and his need to maintain his integrity. The letter concludes with Jefferson's reason winning over the desires of his heart. Their correspondence, however, continued for many years. Maria spent several years in Paris after the birth of a daughter where a friendship with Jacques-Louis David, then a member of the Committee of Public Safety, painted her as a revolutionary in the British press. Following the death of her young daughter in 1796, she worked for the Louvre for two years before she and Cardinal Joseph Fesch, founded a college for young women in Lyons, which she ran from 1803 until it was closed in 1809. She then accepted an invitation from Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Duke of Lodi, to come to Italy and establish a convent school for young girls. She ran the Collegio delle Grazie in Lodi until 1817, when she returned to London to be with her ailing husband. After his death in 1821, she returned to her school in Lodi where in 1834 her educational efforts saw her created a Baroness of the Austrian Empire. She died at Lodi at the age of 78. The town erected a bust to her memory, and the school which she founded and endowed still exists. (bio by: Iola) 
Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie
Provincia di Milano
Lombardia, Italy
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Iola
Record added: Apr 22, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19045915
Maria <i>Hadfield</i> Cosway
Added by: Gillian King
Maria <i>Hadfield</i> Cosway
Added by: Iola
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- Janis Coleman
 Added: Jun. 11, 2015

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