Maria Giberne

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Maria Rosina Giberne (1802−1885) was a French-English artist and convert to Roman Catholicism.

Early life[edit]

One of seven children, Giberne was born in Clapton, London in 1802, the daughter of wine merchant Mark Giberne and Rebecca Sharp.[1] She was educated at home[where?] and in Paris where she learned French. The Gibernes were very close to the family of John Henry Newman, whose brother, Francis Newman, courted her unsuccessfully. In her twenties she left her evangelical origins for high-church Anglicanism and Tractarianism.


Giberne published two children's books, Little Mary (1840) and Henry Vernon (1843). She corresponded with John Henry Newman throughout the period of his growing doubts about Anglicanism and his conversion to Catholicism in 1845; she followed Newman into the Roman church later that year.

Giberne spent the late 1840s and 1850s in Rome working as an artist, living first with the Colonna and then the Borghese families. She produced portraits in chalk and then in oils, of members of those families and of subjects including Newman, Henry William Wilberforce, and Pope Pius IX. When Newman was raised to the cardinalate, she produced a portrait of Saint Francis de Sales for his private chapel.[1][2] Giberne professed vows as a sister of the Visitation at the convent in Autun, France, in 1863, taking the name Maria Pia in honor of Pius IX. She died at the convent in 1885.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Joyce Suggs, "Giberne, Maria Rosina" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004
  2. ^ Shawn Tribe, "Some Liturgical Effects of Blessed John Henry Newman," Liturgical Arts Journal October 12, 2018[1]