Sitters Identified: The Coulson Family

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Rhoda May Coulson - UnknownRhoda May Coulson - GushSitters Identified: The Coulson Family

The following entry in Franz Wild’s list of Hermann Winterhalter’s sitters reads: Revd J.E.Coulson, sa femme et son enfant [see no 51, the Hermann Winterhalter Catalogue page].

Recent research has uncovered that the entry refers to Rev John Edward Coulson (1825-1915), and his wife, née Rhoda May Baird (1834-1913), whom he married at Clevedon, Somerset, 7 April 1858 (or 1857). The identity of their child is presently unknown.

Rhoda May Baird was a daughter of Rhoda Susan Willis (Atherfield, IoW, 16.05.1809-Staunton House, Bournemouth, Christchurch 1.11.1873), by her first husband Captain James Charles Baird, 15th King’s Hussars. Widowed, she married secondly 1.06.1841 Sir Arthur Hallam Elton, 7th Bt, MP (19.04.1818-14.10.1883). Portraits of Rhoda May Coulson née Baird as a young woman by William Gush (fl. 1833-74), and by an unknown British watercolourist are by descent at Clevedon Court, North Somerset.

Wild’s entry could refer either to a group family portrait, or to three separate portraits. Size and present location of the Coulson portrait(s) by Hermann Winterhalter is presently unknown.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2012

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