This charming miniature of Elizabeth Parke Custis, the eldest granddaughter of Martha Washington, was painted in 1814 by renowned artist James Peale. By 1814, the sitter had been separated for ten years and divorced for three years from her husband Thomas Law, whom she had married in 1795. We know from her letters of 1814 that she was having her portrait painted in miniature for the Chevalier de Greffe, a French military officer to whom she was apparently engaged. The two never married, as de Greffe returned home to France to recover his property and was never heard from again. Mount Vernon’s collection also includes an important James Peale miniature of Martha Washington, which is believed to have been made for Elizabeth Parke Custis’ sister, Eleanor. More

Date

1814


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Watercolor on ivory; wood or papier-mache with metal alloy, goldbeater’s skin(?) glass, paper.


Dimensions

Overall: 4 11/16 in. x 4 in. (11.91 cm x 10.16 cm)


Credit

Gift of Mr. Martin Lalor Crimmins, III, in memory of Bay Bellinger Crimmins, 1992


Signed

Incised or scratched at proper right, in the background to the proper right of the sitter’s shoulder:
“IP /1814“


Object Number

M-3615


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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