The identity of this sitter is unknown. On the eve of marriage, young women often had their portraits made, and this portrait likely marked that event. The woman wears a fine dress ornamented with an elaborate lace collar, and a gold and jade chain with a miniature painting hangs around her neck (Face to Face: M.W. Hopkins and Noah North, Museum of Our National Heritage, 1988). Her sober expression and elaborate hairstyle, worn “up” as a matron would do, help to convey a sense of gravity at a turning point in her life.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.