Mary Moser

Mary Moser (27 October 1744-2 May 1819) was an English painter and one of the most celebrated women artists of 18th century Britain. One of only two female founding members of the Royal Academy (1768), Moser is particularly noted for her depictions of flowers.

London-born, Moser was trained by her Swiss-born artist and enameller father George Michael Moser (1706-1783) and her talents were evident at an early age: she won her first Society of Arts medal at 14, and regularly exhibited flower pieces, and occasional history paintings, at the Society of Artists. Ten years later, however, her thirst for professional recognition led her to join with 35 other artists (including her father) in forming the Royal Academy, and, with Angelica Kauffmann, she took an active role in proceedings.

In a group portrait by Johann Zoffany, "The Academicians of the Royal Academy" (1771-2), members are shown gathered around a nude male model at a time when women were excluded from such training in order protect their modesty. So that Moser and Kauffman could be included, Zoffany added them as portraits hanging on the wall.

Moser was also the subject of a portrait by George Romney (c. 1770), acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2003.In the 1790s, Moser received a prestigious commission from Queen Charlotte to complete a floral decorative scheme for Frogmore House in Windsor, Berkshire. This was to prove one of her last professional works; following marriage to a Mr. Hugh Lloyd in 1793 she retired and began exhibiting as an amateur (including works at the Royal Academy until 1802).