Louisa Stuart Costello, Miniature Painter

(b. 1799, d. 1870.)

Miniature Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was born in England in 1799, the daughter of James Francis Costello, captain in the 14th Foot, a native of the county of Mayo. Her father's death when she was barely sixteen left her with her mother and brother to battle with the world, and, settling in Paris, she became the chief support of her family by painting miniatures. On her removal to London about 1820 she adopted miniature painting as a profession, and exhibited in the Royal Academy from 1822 to 1838. Her pale, pretty face, her engaging personality and clever conversation, gained her many friends, among whom were Sir Francis and Lady Burdett, who helped and encouraged her throughout her life. In 1825 she published "Songs of a Stranger," and her "Specimens of the Early Poetry of France," published in 1835 and dedicated to Thomas Moore, made her known in the literary world. She relinquished painting and devoted herself to literature. She was a voluminous writer, and her bright and easy style made her works of travel and history popular. Her "Rose Garden of Persia" shows her skill as an artist as well as a writer. After the death of her brother in 1865 she went to live at Boulogne. She was able by her industry to acquire a small competency, which, aided by a pension from the Burdett family and one from the Civil List, enabled her to end her days in comfort. She died at Boulogne of cancer in the mouth on 24th April, 1870, and was buried in the cemetery of St. Martin.

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