Portrait of Adam Stephen Dandridge, Jr. (1814-1894)
Origin: America, Virginia, Jefferson County (now West Virginia)
Other (Unframed): 38 5/8 x 28 5/16in. (98.1 x 71.9cm)
Framed: 41 x 33 5/8 x 3in.
Gift of Edmund P. Dandridge, Jr., and Mrs. Elizabeth Dandridge McDonald
Acc. No. 1975-148,A
A half, nearly-three-quarter, length portrait of a young man standing, his arms folded across his body, his body turned one-quarter towards the viewer's right, his head turned almost full front, and his gaze directed to the viewer's left. His hair is short, reddish, and curly. In his proper right hand, he holds a riding crop. He wears a black, high-collard coat over a white shirt, white stock, and white neckcloth with a black hat, whose brim is upturned. The background is a warm brown, with a column and drape partially visible along the (viewer's) left side and with vegetation visible along the lower edge.
The modern reproduction, gilded, "Gilbert Stuart-style" frame currently on the portrait was ordered from Gold Leaf Studios, Washington, DC, in November 1992. For information on the original frame, see "Curatorial Remarks."
Label:When 17-year-old Adam Stephen Dandridge, Jr. had his portrait painted by artist James Macoughtry, he was likely a student at Princeton. After his graduation in 1833, Dandridge returned home to Jefferson County, Virginia (now West Virginia), where he became prominent in local and Virginia politics.
Macoughtry, a fellow resident of Jefferson County, attended the Philadelphia Academy of Art while in his teens and visited with noted artist Thomas Sully. Macoughtry seems to have been influenced not only by Sully, but also by artist Philip Tilyard, who painted Dandridge’s first cousin, John Pendleton Kennedy in 1827. Copying the Tilyard painting allowed Macoughtry to practice his style and technique. A receipt dated 1831, records payment of $60 to Macoughtry for two portraits, this one of young Dandridge and another of his mother. A year later, through the generosity of another satisfied client, Macoughtry went abroad to continue his training.
Provenance:This portrait was acquired along with two of other family members (acc. nos. 1975-147 and 1975-149); all three descended in the subjects' family to Colonial Williamsburg's donors, although the exact line has not been documented. The line appears to have been from this subject to his wife's relations (exact relationship undetermined), Lemuel Purnell Dandridge and his wife, Belle Lawrence of "The Bower"; to their son, Edmund P. Dandridge, Sr.; to his son and daughter, Edmund P. Dandridge, Jr., and Elizabeth Dandridge McDonald, who were CWF's donors.
Mark(s):Snapshots taken in 1975 by conservator Peter Michaels of Baltimore, Md., and bearing his project no. (M73.1975) show several inscriptions and marks on the reverse of the original canvas. (These are transcribed and referenced in a March 1976 examination report titled "Laboratory Record-The Walters Art Gallery") in the file.
Under the stretcher is handwritten "52". Handwritten on the front near one tacking edge in ink bled through to the reverse (and to be read backwards from the reverse) is "Ned Lavelle". Painted in freehand on the reverse are "No. 3" and "160/31 1/2". Beneath the immediately foregoing is a stencil consisting of an oval enclosing the words "TREMIEMSLIGO/DOWLAS" [Michaels transcription]. Farther below is a stenciled mark showing a double-headed eagle grasping a sceptre and orb, underneath a partly legible word in Cyrillic letters.
Inscription(s):Please see "Marks," where transcriptions of both marks and inscriptions are intermingled.
Three manuscript items relate to the portrait, the first two of them now being held in Special Collections at the CWF Library (gifts from the donors of acc. nos. 1975-147, -148, and -149). The first MS item, a receipt from the artist, reads: "$60---/Rec[eive]d --- Dec[embe]r ---19th 1831 of Mrs Sarah/P Dandridge --- Sixty dollars in full for/painting portrats [sic] of/ herself and son ---/James Macoughtry". On the verso is: "Mr J Mc--/Coughtry/for $60/Decr 1831".
The second MS item reads: "Baltimore Oct 26 1831/Mr J. McCaughtry--To [Thos?] Palmer Dr/To 3 portrait frames---$27..00/[ditto mark under preceding word 'To'][Box?] for do-- do-- 1..75/$28..75".
The third MS item (documented only in the form of a photocopy in the file; the original presumably remains in family hands) reads: "Rec'd of Mrs Sarah P. Dandridge by the polite/ness of Mr James McCaughtry: fifteen Dollars/to be apply'd to [the? their?] credit of the subscrip/tion to the new church in Smithfield/Nov 5th 1831/John F Smith/for/John Moyer".