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Woman in Profile

ca.1810
Origin: America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (possibly)
Unframed: 9 x 6 1/2in. (22.9 x 16.5cm) and Framed: 11 5/8 x 9 1/2in.
Oil on yellow poplar panel
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1963.100.6
A half-length profile portrait of a woman facing left, her hands not shown.
She wears a greenish-gray, short-sleeved, empire-waisted dress with a sheer white kerchief filling the bodice. She also wears a sheer white embroidered cap tied in a bow at the top with a silverish, striped ribbon. Around her neck, she wears a gold locket on a chain. She has brown eyes, dark brown hair, and somewhat reddish cheeks and nose. The background is a warm brown, a bit lighter at the bottom than at the top. The pictorial image is contained within an oval; the spandrels of the rectangular primary support are solidly painted black.

The 1 1/2-inch gilded, scoop-molded frame is a period replacement.
Label:This simple yet sensitive portrait illustrates several aspects of Jacob Eichholtz's early style, including use of a profile pose, soft and rather indistinct modeling of the face and costume, and colors restricted to muted shades of gray and tan.

Eichholtz was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Leonard and Catherine Mayer Eichholtz. He received drawing lessons from a sign painter in the 1780s, though little else is known of his activities before 1801, when he was hired as a journeyman by George Steinman, a Lancaster coppersmith. The next year, Eichholtz joined his brother George as a "tin-plate worker" in the family's business in Lancaster.

By 1806, he had begun painting portraits. In 1808, he met Thomas Sully, who may have advised him, and in 1811, he sought instruction from Gilbert Stuart. Over the next three years, he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and executed a number of portraits in the Philadelphia area. He also painted in other sections of the state, as well as in towns in Maryland and Delaware, until his death in 1842.
Provenance:As reported by AARFAM's vendor, Miss Helen Yerkes of New York, NY, the portrait was once owned by a "Mrs. Hammerslee" of Philadelphia, Penn., whence it descended to her granddaughters, the Misses Mary and Margaretta McClure, both of whom died in 1956 or 1957 in their late 80s.