[Joseph Severn's] second daughter, Mary, showed exceptional promise as an artist; some of her drawings had a refinement and grace which proved her possession of a strong and original talent; but, subsequent to her marriage with Mr., now Sir Charles, Newton, she died untimely in 1866. —— William Sharp, p.xv

Greatly shocked at the death of Mrs Newton, (Miss Severn) a pretty, clever young artist, who painted several of the family & did also beautiful copies of the Old Masters. — Queen Victoria, Journal, 7 January 1866

Little of her work is on public view and her engaging and spirited personality found much of its expression in private letters, sketches, and notebooks. She was a fully professional artist, an accomplished portraitist, and one of several Victorian women who, in the opinion of a contemporary reviewer (The Times, 7 May 1863), if the academy were not closed to women, "should write R.A. after her name." — Rowena Fowler

Biographical Material


Related Material


Brown, Sue. Joseph Severn, A Life: The Rewards of Friendship. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Fowler, Rowena. "Newton [née Severn], (Ann) Mary (1832–1866), painter." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 8 January 2020.

Sharp, William. Preface. The Life and Letters of Joseph Severn. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1892. pp.v-xvi. Internet Archive. Contributed by Cornell University ibraries. Web. 5 January 2020.

Created 8 January 2020