Children of William James Stillman
and 1st wife - Laura Mack

daughter of David Mack and Maria Barstow

William James Stillman was a noted painter and journalist and was listed in Who's Who in America.
William James Stillman served as US Consul in Rome, Italy during 1861-1865 and in Crete during 1865-1868
This is the biography of William James Stillman

Of the Laura Mack/William James Stillman marriage - the three children were Russie, as you know died 27.3.1875 Isle of Wight; Lisa who did not marry; and, I have no present clue as to where or when she died - she just evaporates - and Bella.
Bella Helena Stillman's birth, the combination of post-natal depression and the horrors of the Cretan insurrection against the Turks, drove Laura Mack Stillman to suicide. Edited from David Elliott, April 2001

John Ruskin Stillman
Born: 2 May 1862
Place: Belmont, MA
Died: 27 Mar 1875
Place: Isle of Wight, England

business loans

Eliza (Lisa) Ramona Stillman
Born: 23 Dec 1865
Place: Rome, Italy
Died: 11 Feb 1946
Place: Wandsworth, London, England
Date Married:

Bella Helena Stillman
Born: 14 Jun 1868
Place: Canea, Isle of Crete
Died: 15 Mar 1948
Place: London, England
Married: James Henry Middleton
Born: circa 1866
Place: England
Died: 10 Jun 1896
Place: London, England
Date Married: Dec 1892 in Rome, Italy

Children of William James Stillman
and 2nd wife - Maria Spartali

daughter of Michael Spartali and Maria Varsoni

Maria Spartali Stillman was listed in the Dictionary of British Watercolour Artists and in the Dictionary of Victorian Painters.
Marie Spartali was born in Middlesex in 1843, daughter of Michael Spartali, import-export merchant and sometime Greek consul in London, and by birth and acquaintance like Maria Zambaco (mistress of Edward Burne-Jones) a member of the cultured Greek community in London whose doyen was Constantine Ionides. From 1864-70 she trained under Ford Madox Brown, alongside his daughters Catherine and Lucy. She was a noted 'stunner' (the Pre-Raphaelite slang for a good-looking woman) and sat for Rossetti and Burne-Jones as well as the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. In 1871 she married against her family's wish the American journalist and amateur artist W.J. Stillman; they had three children, one of whom died in infancy. Owing to her husband's work as a newspaper correspondent the family settled in Florence in 1878, and then Rome until 1898. Despite prolonged residences abroad, Spartali became a regular contributor to Grosvenor Gallery from 1877 until 1887, and its sucessor - the New Gallery - as well as at various venues in eastern USA. Her sustained output proves her professionalism, but little of her work seems to have sold. Her favoured subjects were literary-historical figure groups and decorative female heads preferred by patrons; landsapes and flower pieces are equally representative though less distinctive. Many of her works draw on Italian literary themes, especially Dante and Boccacio as well as depicting Italian landscape. Her daughter Euphrosyne (Effie) became an artist, as did her step-daughter Lisa Stillman; her son Michael was an architect and settled in America, where retrospective shows were held in 1908 and 1982. She died in Britain in 1927.

Marie Euphrosyne Spartali, later Stillman, (born March 10, 1844, died March 6, 1927) was a London-born Pre-Raphaelite painter of Greek descent. She has been described as (arguably) the best of the Pre-Raphaelite women artists. During a 60-year career she produced over one hundred pictures, contributing regularly to galleries in London and the USA.


Maria Spartali was the youngest daughter of Michael and Euphrosyne Spartali. Michael Spartali was a wealthy merchant and Greek consul-general based in London.

Maria Zambaco and Aglaia Coronio were her cousins; the three of them, all of Greek heritage and noted for their beauty, were known collectively by their friends as the Three Graces, after the Charites of Greek mythology (whose names were Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia). Swinburne said of Spartali: "She is so beautiful that I want to sit down and cry".

Spartali studied under Ford Madox Brown for several years from 1864, along with his children Lucy, Catherine and Oliver. She modelled for Brown, Burne-Jones (The Mill), Julia Margaret Cameron, Rossetti (A Vision of Fiammetta, Dante's Dream and The Bower Meadow), Spencer Stanhope and Whistler (La Princesse du Pays de la Porcelaine).

In 1871, against her parents' wishes, she married American journalist and painter William J. Stillman. She was his second wife, his first having committed suicide two years before. His job as a foreign correspondent resulted in the couple dividing their time between London and Florence from 1878 to 1883, and then Rome from 1889 to 1896. She also travelled to America, and was the only English Pre-Raphaelite artist to work in the United States.

Spartali's daughter Euphrosyne (Effie) and her step-daughter Lisa both became artists. Her son Michael became an architect.

Marie Spartali died in London in 1927. She was cremated at Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey.


The subjects of her paintings were typical of the Pre-Raphaelites: female figures; scenes from Shakespeare, Petrarch, Dante and Boccaccio; also Italian landscapes. She exhibited at the Dudley Gallery, then at the Grosvenor Gallery and its successor, the New Gallery; at the Royal Academy; and at various galleries in the eastern USA, including the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. A retrospective show of her work took place in the United States in 1982.

Marie Spartali Stillman - 1868

Marie Spartali Stillman - 1869

Marie Spartali Stillman

1843 - 1927
Pre-Raphaelite Stunner, Muse, and Painter. Marie Spartali was born into the wealthy, cultured, and sophisticated Greek community of London. As a young women she was trained by Maddox Brown, and modeled for Rossetti, whose influence was apparent in her own pictures, though it was later superseded by that of Burne-Jones.

Marie Stillman was widely known as the 'other' great Pre-Raphaelite beauty, the comparison being with Jane Morris. W Graham Robertson in his wonderful book, 'Time Was,' wittily described her as 'Mrs Morris for beginners!' Maria Spartali married the American journalist William J Stillman in 1871. Stillman was, incidentally, the model for Merlin in the famous Burne-Jones painting ' The Beguiling of Merlin.' After their marriage the Stillmans lived in Florence, and then Rome. These absences abroad did not prevent Marie Stillman from exhibiting regularly at the Grosvenor Gallery.

She often painted in watercolour, and her pictures are detailed, highly accomplished, and jewel-like, with a naive flat perspective. Many of her paintings are just quite simply beautiful. A remarkable woman.

Obituary - Times March 8th 1927

The death of Mrs Stillman occurred on Tuesday, within a few days of the completion of her 84th year removes from amongst us the last of a generation. She was the single survivor since the death of Lady Burne-Jones seven years ago of a group of women remarkable alike for beauty and ability, for gifts and character. They belonged to that circle of artists in which Rossetti, Burne-Jones, and Morris were the most distinguished names, and had no little share in creating the influence which, half a century ago, the circle exercised over the whole art and life of the age. With the great triad of those early and now remote days, Mrs Rossetti, Lady Burne-Jones, and Mrs Morris, she was almost a fourth, and of the two latter was a lifelong friend.

Her father Michael Spartali was a wealthy merchant, one of the naturalized Anglo-Greek colony who counted among them some of the earliest admirers and most enthusiastic supporters of the later Pre-Raphaelite movement. He was for many years the Greek Consul-General in London. In the country house at Clapham to which they removed not long after Marie’s birth, he and his wife (born Euphrosyne Varsami), gathered round them a large and varied cosmopolitan group of artists, musicians, and exiled Cretan and Italian nationalists. Here Marie Spartali, a lovely and high-spirited girl, grew up in an atmosphere of international culture. She early showed artistic promise; she worked at drawing and painting under Ford Madox Brown, and became intimate with the other painters of that school.

In 1871 she married William James Stillman (well known afterwards for his long connection with The Times), then a widower with three young children. Mr and Mrs Stillman lived in England for the next six years, and thereafter for 11 years more divided their life between England and Italy, where Mr Stillman was correspondent for The Times at Rome. When he retired from the post in 1898, they settled down in Surrey, and since her husband’s death in 1902 Mrs Stillman had lived in London with her step-daughter, Mrs J H Middleton.

In such leisure as was afforded to her by a strenuous and arduous life, she went on painting steadily, and pictures of hers, showing the strong influence of Burne-Jones were exhibited for a good many years at the Grosvenor and New Galleries. As an artist she had taste, industry, and considerable imagination; it can hardly be said that she had high creative power, and her mastery over the technique of art was never very complete. Nor did her circumstances with household exigencies of a family of small means and the care of her stepdaughters and her own children, allow of her the pursuit of art wholeheartedly. But in that circle of artist she was not only loved as a friend but accepted as a colleague; and the close intimacy between her and the households of Burne-Jones, Morris, and W B Richmond was thus doubled. At one or other of those houses she was a guest no less frequent than welcome; welcome as an appreciator of their art and an artist herself, but even more, and pre-eminently for herself.

It would be difficult to convey to anyone who did not know her, the charm of her person and character. Of her incomparable and faultless beauty, which she retained in an extraordinary degree to the end of her long life, no adequate record exists; for she did not photograph well, and though she sat much both to Rossetti and to Burne-Jones, this was not so much for express portraits as for idealised figures inspired by and more or less resembling her. Perhaps the Danae of Burne-Jones’s ‘Brazen Tower,’ now in the Municipal Art Gallery at Glasgow, is what gives the nearest impression of her form and features-not of her colouring for she was dark-haired, and with it may be coupled-though here the mannerism of the artist detracts from the fidelity of the portraiture-the figure standing at the head of Beatrice in Rossetti’s ‘Dante’s Dream.’ Her wonderful beauty was enhanced by a wonderful lack of self-consciousness; it was combined with an indomitable spirit. Affectionate, and yet subtly malicious, and radiating rather than exerting an indefinable though insuperable charm, she retained throughout her life a delightful girlishness. Not only her children, and her grandchildren, but those of her friends found her almost a contemporary of their own, and one whom they could be and were immediately and spontaneously intimate.

Of her own three children, one did not survive infancy; a daughter Mrs Ritchie died leaving a young family in 1911, the only survivor is her son Michael who has lived in the United States for many years. Her two stepdaughters Miss Lisa Stillman and Mrs Middleton were all but blood true daughters to her, and were with her to the last.

Euphrosyne (Effie) Spartali Stillman
Born: 6 Jan 1871
Place: London, England
Died: 18 Aug 1911
Place: London, England
Married: William George Brookfield Ritchie
Born: circa 1869
Place: of London, England
Lived: 1932
Date Married: 6 Apr 1905

Michael "Mico" Spartali Stillman
Born: 27 Oct 1878
Place: Firenze/Florence, Italy
Died: Apr 1967
Place: Northfield, MA
Married: Evangeline Bogart Donaldson
Born: circa 1876
Place: Crawford, NJ
Died: Feb 1972
Place: Oriskany, NY
Date Married: 24 Jan 1906 in Manhattan, New York, NY

James William Stillman
Born: 12 Aug 1881
Place: London, England
Died: 1 May 1882
Place: Florence, Italy

The curator is very grateful to David Elliott for his contributions to this page
Additional information has been provided by George Vassiadis
Information and data has been obtained from and