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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Charlotte Bosanquet

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Charlotte Bosanquet was the daughter of a banker, William Bosanquet, who died in 1800, leaving his family unexpectedly impoverished. She had a talent for watercolor and, in the 1840s, filled two albums with exteriors and interiors of mainly Bosanquet family homes, one being titled The Bosanqueti – a selection of Several Mansion Houses, Villas, Lodges, Parks, etc., the principal residences of a distinguished Family with descriptive notes (Cherry, Deborah. Painting Women: Victorian Women Artists. London: Routledge, 1993: 131). Bosanquet’s large family of Huguenot origin made up an extensive network, and Charlotte built up what amounted to a pictorial diary of her movements from house to house among the many branches of the family, usually depicting the libraries, halls, or drawing rooms of their houses.