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C. Sinclair [Paris], [to R. Ackermann]

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 31 of 98 in this group

Reference code



C. Sinclair [Paris], [to R. Ackermann]


06 May 1802



Extent & medium

1 piece

Historical Background

"Of all the artistic projects that Cosway was involved at about the turn of the century the most demanding was that undertaken during her stay in Paris from 1801 to 1803. This was to copy and etch Dominique-Vivant Denon's reorganized display of the newly arrived old master paintings in the grand gallery of the Louvre (then known as the Musée Central), for which descriptive texts were provided by the entrepreneur Julius Griffiths. Eight folio-sized plates entitled Galerie du Louvre (1802) were published in Paris and made available to subscribers either in monochrome or hand-coloured. Cosway received assistance from the engraver Francesco Rosaspina, with whom she had an extensive correspondence; the original presentation volume of hand-coloured etchings with the names of the French and British subscribers survives (1801–3; Fondazione Cosway, Lodi). Despite signing the volume as the head of the Bonaparte family Napoleon himself was disparaging about the quality of Cosway's copies, a judgement with which she reluctantly concurred. (In 1807 she corresponded with the sculptor Antonio Canova about a cast (untraced) of his bust of Cardinal Fesch.)" [DNB]

Content Description

Sinclair informs Ackermann that Mrs Cosway is doing everything in her power to be useful him [Ackermann]. He then describes his efforts to sell Ackermann's prints, and to obtain commissions for him. Sinclair cannot send French cloth to England to be waterproofed, as import is forbidden. The letter also bears a letter from Maria Cosway [to Ackermann], dated 5 May 1802, in which the artist queries certain items on his bill for prints.


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [DNB]