Portrait of Eliza Nichols Atwood Dimond (Mrs. Hopestill Potter Dimond)(1797-1888)
Origin: America, Rhode Island, Bristol
Unframed: 30 x 24 3/4in. (76.2 x 62.9cm) and Framed: 36 1/2 x 31 3/8 x 2 1/8in. (92.7 x 79.7 x 5.4cm)
Acc. No. 1997-120,A&B
A half-length depiction of a young woman with her lower arms crossed in front of her at the waist. The subject is turned three- quarters to her proper right and gazes at the viewer, with her head held at a slight angle . She wears a long-sleeved black dress with a deep V-neckline accented by both black and white lace trims; white pleated cuffs extend beyond the sleeves of the dress. She wears a red patterned ribbon around her head and across her brow. She has short, curled brown hair and brown eyes. The background is darkly painted and includes no allusion to a setting.
The frame is 3 1/2-inch wide, gilded pine, and original. It has a flat inner step followed by a cove molding followed by a quarter round outer edge. The inner step bears molded composition ornament of repeated anthemion palmettes; the outher cove bears composition bead molding. The corners of the flat inner step are each accented with four graduated composition balls. Note: this frame is quite similar to that on a companion portrait of Hopestill Potter Dimond, but the ball ornamentation in the corners differs, and there are relatively subtle differences between the anthemion palmettes on the two frames.
Label:A red-and-black color scheme dramatically complements Eliza Dimond's pale skin and dark hair and eyes, while her sidelong glance and, the coquettish tilt of her head imbue this likeness with particular charm. The graceful serpentine curves of the bodice of the sitter's dress relieve the dominant vertical thrust of the composition, while her folded hands framed by crisply pleated cuffs bespeak both demureness and self assurance. Thompson's portraits of Eliza Dimond's husband and father-in-law are also in the collection, all three having been given to Colonial Williamsburg by a family descendant.
Provenance:The portrait shares a line of family descent and donation to the CWF with acc. nos. 1997-118 and 1997-119. The three descended to CWF's donor, William A. Diman, having been bequeathed to him by his cousin, Elizabeth Church Chase of Bristol, Rhode Island, in her will dated April 14, 1976. (See the copy of the pertinent section of the will in the object file.)
Mark(s):No original markings found. See "Curatorial Remarks" for documentation of the artist ascription. In yellow chalk on the back of the uppr frame member is "TF2343B". A strip of wood added as a spacer immediately above the primary support is labeled "TOP". A modern plaque attached to the front of the lower frame member reads ' "MRS. HOPESTILL POTTER DIMOND/ELIZA NICHOLS ATWOOD/1979-1888/BY CEPHAS THOMPSON 1816".