Spartali Stillman, Marie

PAINTER, MODEL (GREECE)
BORN 10 Mar 1844, Edmonton, Middlesex - DIED 6 Mar 1927, London
REAL NAME Spartali, Marie Eeuphrosyne
GRAVE LOCATION London: West Norwood Cemetery, Norwood High Street, Norwood (square 28, grave 7655 (ashes interred in her father's tomb))

Daughter of merchant Michael Spartali, who had been Greek consul in London. She was educated by Ford Madox Ford from 1864-1870, together with his daughters Catherine and Lucy. The Pre-Raphaelites called her a 'stunner' because of her looks and Burne-Jones and Rossetti employed her as a model. Her sister Christina also became a model. Swinburne said she was so beautiful that he wanted to sit down and cry.

Against the wishes of her family she married the American journalist W.J. Stillman, who worked as a diplomat at the time (his first wife had commited suicide). They had three children. From 1878 until 1883 they lived in London and Florence and from 1889 until 1896 in London and Rome.

From 1867 onwards she exhibited at the Royal Academy. Later she exhibited regularly at Grosvenor Gallery and in the USA, but she hardly sold any paintings. Her daughter Effie and her step-daughter Lisa also became artists and her son Michael was an architect. She died in England.

Works:
"The Lady Prays - Desire" (1867);
"Joli Coeur";
"Beatrice".

Related persons
• worked as a model for Burne-Jones, Edward Coley
• was pupil to Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
• worked as a model for Rossetti, Dante Gabriel
• worked as a model for Whistler, James MacNeill
• was a friend of Zambaco, Maria
• is cousin of Zambaco, Maria

Sources
The Pre-Raphaelite Collection, 2000
Children of Joseph Stillman III
Mavi Boncuk: 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004


Spencer, Herbert

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 6 Apr 2014