COLLECTION: Paintings

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Portrait of Elizabeth Thatcher Corbin Major Jameson (Mrs. John Jameson II) (1803-1871)

1831
Origin: America, Virginia, Culpeper County
Overall: 28 1/4 x 24 1/4in. (71.8cm, 24 1/4in.) Framed: 34 1/4 x 30 1/2in.
Oil on canvas
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2017.100.1,A&B
Half-length portrait of a young woman in a blue dress turned slightly to the viewer’s left. She reclines against a red upholstered sofa which is within a grey interior. A large window punctuates the upper right with a partial view of a verdant landscape. The sitter dominates the majority of the canvas, though additional portions of her elaborate hair ornament may have been lost during previous interventions. This ornament consists of white, blue and yellow flowers as well as grain fronds. These are draped with a gauzy white material which cascades behind the sitter’s tightly curled brown hair and the back of the red sofa. The sitter directly addresses the viewer, and her blue eyes each have small white highlights. She wears loosely rendered gold earrings, two necklaces, a brooch and three rings as well as a robust pocket watch, chain and accompanying fobs. The collar and sleeves of the sitter’s blue dress are trimmed with white lace and embroidered details. A repeating pattern of floral sprigs appears around her waist. The sitter’s left arm, largely obscured by the sofa, terminates in a relaxed hand which holds a partially opened book of music. Just to the right of the book, at the corner of the canvas, is a small white rectangle which bears the artist’s inscription.
Label:
Over the course of 1831-1832, Eliza’s parents, William and Elizabeth Major, commissioned Thomas Jefferson Wright to paint portraits of themselves and at least eight members of their immediate family, including Eliza. These portraits, as well as others the artist completed in Culpeper County, Virginia, may be the earliest works by Wright after he received formal training, possibly in Philadelphia. They demonstrate a stylistic change from his earlier works, like the portraits of the Howards to the left.
Provenance:Unknown intital line of descent, acquired by collector Maxim Karolik in the 20th century, sold by Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc. auction of the "Art Property of the Estate of the late Maxim Karolik, June 17-19 1964, lot 249, sold at Sotheby's "Important American Folk Art from the Ralph and Susanne Katz Collection," January 21, 2017 Lot 5105.

Inscription(s):Jeff Wright/ Painted 1831