Portrait of David Meade, Jr. (1744-1830)
Unframed: 30 x 25in. (76.2 x 63.5cm) and Framed: 36 1/2 x 31 1/2in.
Acc. No. 1938-190
A half-length portrait of a standing boy who is turned one quarter toward the viewer's left, his proper right hand thrust inside his partially unbuttoned waistcoat, his proper left arm hanging along his side (and pressing to his side a black hat, cocked up on three sides), the hand not shown. He wears a white shirt with ruffles at the wrists and a ruffled collar surrounding the neck, a light blue waistcoat, and a gray coat with a light blue tabbed collar. The coat and waistcoat both have silver buttons and silver embroidered buttonholes, the waistcoat also trimmed in silver braid, as is the hat. The boy has brown eyes and ear-length, curling brown hair. He stands erect and gazes directly at the viewer. The (viewer's) left side of the picture is filled with a red drapery, knotted or gathered near the top; the remainder of the background is a warm brown.
The frame currently (11/13/2008) on the painting is a 3 1/2-inch stained, bolection molded frame having a carved and gilded sight edge; it is a period replacement. It was acquired independently of the picture and is accessioned as 1956-164, which entry see for further details.
Label:The sitter was the son of David Meade Sr. and Susannah Everard Meade of Nansemond County, Virginia. His portrait was painted soon after his seventh birthday when his parents sent him to England to be educated. David Jr. returned to Virginia in 1761. Seven years later, he married Sarah Waters, the only daughter of William and Sarah Prentis Waters of Williamsburg. David Jr. served as a burgess from his home county for several years.
The London painter John Wollaston was working in Virginia about the time that the sitter was sent abroad to school. Wollaston’s bust-length portraits of David Meade Sr. and his wife were known in the 1960s, but their current location is unknown. It is conceivable that the Meades learned of Hudson through their business with Wollaston.
Provenance:Per file statements made by Tyrell Williams on 4 January 1938 and 1 May 1938, the portrait descended from the father of the subject, David Meade, Sr.; to his son, the subject, David Meade, Jr.; to his son, Richard Everard Meade of Oldham County, Kentucky; to his niece, Mrs. Jesse Lynch Williams (Susan Creighton)(d. 1899) of Fort Wayne, Indiana; to her son, Edward Peet Williams of New York, NY; to his widow, Laura Carroll Williams of Washington, DC; to her late husband's nephew, Tyrell Williams, in November 1937, the last being CWF's donor.