Portrait of the author Anne Marsh Caldwell
of Eastbury, Watford, Herts
of Deacons, Ewhurst, Surrey
and of Linley Wood, Talke, Staffordshire, England.
Portrait painted by the American artist Samuel Stillman Osgood (1808-85), February 1836. The above photograph exists in the family however the whereabouts of the orginal portrait is not know. If you know where this portrait now hangs I would be very interested to hear from you. A miniature of it still exists and this is shown below.
Later copy painted as a miniature in 1898 by Evelyn Mason (Mrs Ernold Mason)
An email from Ton Fafianie, Historian, The Netherlands reads as follows:
I have just encountered, on your site, a fine
portrait in B&W allegedly painted by Charles Osgood (1809-90), the American
(Salem, MS) painter-- of Mrs. Anne Marsh Caldwell. Charles is quite often
mistaken for Samuel Stillman Osgood, a near-contemporary American painter (his
life span is from 1808-85). Sam is my subject, through his wife, the poetess
Frances S. Osgood. I am trying to arrange a catalogue raisonne of his
The facts I give you are hardly known yet.
Fanny and Sam sailed for England shortly after their marriage and arrived in Nov 1835. They sailed back in May of 1839, with one daughter born and one in Fanny’s womb. Earlier, Sam had visited London on his own to attend classes at the Royal Academy of Arts (June 1830-March 31), but I’m not sure if he reached his objectives. He nearly starved to death.
Together with his wife they now made a talented artistic couple in the UK. Americans were all the rage and proved to be no savages from Indian-land. Fanny met several literary lions (some of them cubs in the bud), whom Sam would paint. He had already built a reputation in the early 30s which had crossed the ocean. His masterpiece was the likeness of Caroline Norton, back then a divorced, but most pretty woman in financial and emotional straits. Also, the couple befriended Harriet Martineau, as far as you could befriend this grumpy lady. Sam must have painted her in 1837, but the portrait is also and falsely I suppose attributed to Charles Osgood, when she would have been in America. Several women writers expressed a wish to be published in the US, and I believe Anne Marsh was one of them. After she had returned to her homeland, Fanny corresponded with her lady friends and probably did her utmost to interest the publishers in their works. America would mean a huge market, if international copyright was secured and maintained. Charles Dickens (also painted by Sam, I believe) would find out that things weren’t that easy. Fanny published a successful poetry vol in London, A Wreath of Wild Flowers from New England (1838). Sadly, I've not uncovered any corresp. with Mrs. Marsh.
I believe from her diary the portrait was done in Feb and May of 1836, which fits nicely as one of Sam’s earlier productions in England. It has his distinct style. I wonder who did the attribution to Charles Osgood?
I give you the evidence of Sam as painter of the Marsh Caldwell portrait, reported while he was alive:
Source: New York Daily Tribune, Saturday June 9, 1855:
Our distinguished artist, L. L. [sic for S.S.] OSGOOD, Esq., sails to day in the steamer North Star, intending, we understand, to pass some time on the Continent; also to revisit England, where the first years of his married life were passed with his amiable and gifted wife, the late lamented FRANCES SARGENT OSGOOD. It is now many years since Mr. OSGOOD, by his remarkable success in his art, and Mrs. OSGOOD, by her varied and graceful contributions to literature, won for themselves an "enviable reputation in the great Metropolis."
It will be recollected that Mr. OSGOOD met with eminent success in painting portraits of Lord LYNDHURST, THOMAS CAMPBELL, Mrs. NORTON, Mrs. MARSH, authoress of Two Old Men's Tales, Mount Sorrell, &c, &c, and others. We trust he will receive among his old friends abroad, and the new ones he will be sure to win, the meed of praise due to his genius and his industry. Mr. OSGOOD'S noble and generous character, as well as the gifts of his fine genius, attach him to numerous friends at home who will bid him God speed, and trust that he may find among new scenes—at least a diversion from the heavy affliction with which he has been visited in the loss of his wife and two as lovely and gifted daughters as ever blessed a parent's heart—and all within the space of fifteen months. Few have been so sorely afflicted, and few have fell more deeply—as those who know him most intimately can testify.
The prediction of new friends proved right: on board he was to meet his second wife, rich beyond his dreams.
I hope this is helpful.
Ton Fafianie, Historian, The Netherlands.