Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FAGNANI, Joseph (fanyah'nee), artist, born in Naples, Italy, 24 December, 1819 ; died in New York City, 22 May 1873. He studied art in the Royal academy of Naples, and began his career at an early age. Several crayon portraits among the most remarkable of which was that of Baron Smucker established his reputation. He removed to Vienna, and painted a portrait of the Archduke Charles. In 1842 he accepted the offer from the queen regent of Spain, Maria Christina, to make album portraits of the distinguished persons that shared her exile. While under this engagement he formed the acquaintance of Sir Robert Peel and Sir Henry Bulwer, with whom he came to New York in 1851, and there married an American. In 1858 he visited Europe, and was ordered by Queen Christina, then at Malmaison, to paint two portraits of herself and portraits of the Prince and Princess Ladislas Czartoriski.
In 1860 he painted two portraits of Richard Cobden, one of which was given by Fagnani to the New York sanitary fair, where it was bought by Morris Ketchum, Esq., who presented it to the New York chamber of commerce; the other was purchased by the National portrait gallery of London. His principal works are the portraits of Garibaldi, Victor Emanuel, the Prime Minister Ratazzi and General Cialdini, Sir Henry Bulwer, Lord Byron, the ex-Empress Eugenic, and the Countess Guicciola. Among his drawings is a sketch of President Taylor, taken after his death, and a portrait of Sir Henry Bulwer, executed in Madrid in 1846. His house in New York contained many rare specimens of art, collected from all parts of Europe. This collection was sold shortly after his death. His paintings of the "Nine Muses," now in the Metropolitan museum of art, New York, attracted much attention; as well known American beauties had served as models.
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