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Maria Euphrosina
Spartali Stillman

United Kingdom • 1844−1927
Mary Euphrosyne Spartali, married Stillman (March 10, 1844 - March 6, 1927) - an English artist of Greek origin, who joined the Brotherhood of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Features of the artist Maria Spartali: the artist was one of the most important figures in the Victorian world of art and worked closely with members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle. Schoolgirl Ford BrownShe possessed excellent technique and a sense of color. The themes of many of her paintings were inspired by the historical and literary subjects of the Renaissance. One of the few professional English artists of her time, Maria Spartali regularly exhibited on a par with men, successfully selling her paintings on both sides of the ocean. During her creative career, the artist has created more than 170 works. She was one of the favorite models of the Pre-Raphaelites - George Frederick Watts,Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.

Famous paintings by the artist Maria Spartali: “A Rose from the Garden of Armida”, “Messenger of Love”, “Madonna Pietra”.

Maria Spartali was born in British Middlesex, in the family of the Greek businessman Mikhail Spartali and his wife Efrosini Varsami, daughter of a wealthy Greek merchant from Genoa. In London, Spartali had his own house at Clefam Common, where a fun-filled society of young artists and writers often gathered. Young Maria early enough decided on the work of her life. The father did not interfere with his daughter's artistic interests, and at the age of 20, Maria became a student of the artist Ford Madox Brown, one of the most prominent representatives of Pre-Raphaelitism. This was quite decent, as she studied with the daughters of Brown, Katherine and Lucy.

Maria Spartali was considered beautiful, despite her outstanding height - about 1.9 m. Together with their Greek cousins Maria Zambako and Aglaya Koronio, they formed an exquisite group, which friends christened “Three Graces”. When the poet Swinburne first saw Mary, he was struck by her beauty, which he described as follows: "she is so beautiful that I want to sit down and cry." Many sought the hands of a beautiful Greek woman, but she was in no hurry with marriage.

Rossetti wrote to Mary’s teacher, Ford Brown: “... I heard that this is the most amazing beauty that is talked about so much ... hide her and not show to anyone, I want her to pose for me first.” And Maria Spartali really became Rossetti's model - three years later. She posed for her teacher, Brown, as well as for many members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Burn-Jones captured Mary in the picture "Mill", Rossetti - on the canvases The Vision of Fiammetta, "Vision of Dante", "Arbor in the meadow". Clever and charming Maria was friends with her family William Morriswrote her John Spencer Stanhopeand the famous female photographer Julia Margaret Cameron made a number of wonderful portraits of the artist. The elder sister of Mary - Christina Spartali - became a model for the pictureWhistler "Princess from the country of china"that adorned his famous Peacock Room.

In 1871, Maria Spartali married American journalist William James Stillman, who worked as a correspondent for a newspaper. The romance was stormy - the Spartali family was categorically against having her daughter tie herself up with a widower burdened with three children. However, the wedding took place. The family settled in Florence, and later moved to Rome. The Stillmans had three children, one of whom died in infancy.

Life away from home and the children did not interfere with Mary's fruitful work, as well as regularly exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery, the Royal Academy, as well as in the USA. The themes of her paintings revolved around the literary and historical themes of the Renaissance, scenes from Dante, Shakespeare and Boccaccio; Maria also painted still lifes and landscapes. Maria's daughter Effie became an artist, as did her half-sister, Lisa Stillman, and her son Michael, an architect.

Maria Spartali-Stillman died in the UK in 1927, the artist was 83 years old.
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