Friday, July 17, 2009

Tart of the Week: Mary Moser

Of the numerous great female artists of the eighteenth century, Mary Moser is usually shortsighted. An odd fact, especially considering that Mary, with Angelica Kaufman, was a founder of the Royal Academy.

Art was in Mary's genes. Her father was an artist and noticed his daughter's talent at an early age and took it upon himself to train her. Mary's favourite subject was flora. In an age where paintings of flowers went out with the Dutch Golden age, Mary picked up where the Dutch masters left off and resurrected the subject-matter. She craved recognition and was twenty-four when she aided in forming the Royal Academy in hopes it would get her name out. Perhaps that is what helped her to get the commission to paint floral motifs for the queen's house, Frogmore. But Mary's participation in the Royal Academy founding wouldn't be the last time Mary displayed her Scorpio sense of assertive and competitive nature.

Mary was almost fifty when she finally settled down and married (she was such a Samantha!). Almost as soon as she was married she began having an affair with the flamboyant miniature artist, Richard Cosway. The two went on an artist pilgramage tour together and his sketches from that time are dabbled with little notes about his sex life with Mary. She was a freak in bed! In some notes he directly compared Mary's carnal skill with his wife's (Mary came out out on top, no pun intended). For an old macaroni, Mary really brought the raunchy side of Cosway out.

Mary lived out the rest of her years in retirement, and died quietly in 1819 at the ripe old age of seventy-five.


  1. I was expecting that link to go to the Bruno clip...

  2. Cosway's note taking is chuckle inducing :)

  3. Was Cosway considered "a libertine who resembled a monkey" before or after he met Mary?

  4. Haha I have no idea! But I'm guessing before.