Corbaux, Marie Françoise Catherine Doetter (DNB00)


CORBAUX, MARIE FRANÇOISE CATHERINE DOETTER (1812–1883), painter and biblical critic, usually called Fanny Corbaux, was daughter of an Englishman who lived much abroad, and was well known as a statistician and mathematician. When she was very young her father was reduced from affluence to poverty, and she was obliged to turn her talents for painting to account. Having studied at the National Gallery and the British Institution, she received in 1827 the large silver medal of the Society of Arts for an original portrait in miniature, the silver Isis medal for a copy of figures in water-colours, and the silver palette for a copy of an engraving. In 1828 an original composition of figures in water-colours again obtained the silver Isis medal, and a portrait in miniature, exhibited in 1830, won the gold medal. In the latter year she was elected an honorary member of the Society of British Artists, and for a few years she exhibited small oil pictures at its gallery. Subsequently she joined the New Society of Painters in Water Colours, and became a regular contributor to its annual exhibitions. She designed the illustrations for Moore's ‘Pearls of the East,’ 1837, and for ‘Cousin Natalia's Tales,’ 1841. As a biblical critic she gained some reputation by her communications to periodicals and literary societies on subjects relating to scripture history. Among these were ‘Letters on the Physical Geography of the Exodus,’ published in the ‘Athenæum.’ Another series, giving the history of a remarkable nation, called ‘the Rephaim’ in the Bible, and showing their connection with the political and monumental history of Egypt and that of the Exodus, appeared in the ‘Journal of Sacred Literature.’ She likewise wrote an historical and chronological introduction to ‘The Exodus Papyri,’ by D. I. Heath, 1855. In 1871 she received a civil list pension of 50l. She died at Brighton, after many years of suffering, on 1 Feb. 1883.

[Men of the Time (1879), p. 268; Vapereau's Dict. des Contemporains (1880), p. 468; Athenæum, 10 Feb. 1883, p. 192; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

T. C.