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Catherine Da Costa


COSTA, CATHERINE DA (1679–1756), English miniature painter, daughter of Dr. Fernando Mendez, physician to Charles II. Catherine da Costa was the earliest known English Jewish artist and the first Jewish woman artist whose work has survived. A pupil of the famous drawing-master and mezzotint engraver Bernard Lens, she painted portrait miniatures of her family and of other members of the Jewish community. Among her works are portraits of her father in full 18th-century dress (1721) and of her ten-year-old son, Abraham da Costa (1714). She was married to Anthony Moses da Costa (1667/9–1747), a prosperous Sephardi merchant.

Sources:ODNB online.

Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.