This miniature depicts Ann Orme Beall (1752-1827), of Upper Marlborough, Maryland who married Thomas Beall of George in 1773. The Bealls’ daughter Eliza Ridgely Beall married George Corbin Washington, a grandnephew of George Washington, in 1807. This portrait is by acclaimed miniaturist Robert Field who also painted miniatures of George and Martha Washington in 1801. The portraits of these two women share somber attire with white accoutrements and brown backgrounds. Field has painted a similarly complex expression on both faces—a dignified serenity, with a hint of warmth, as though a smile might shortly appear. Though not as elegant as the portrait of her husband (H-4843), Mrs. Beall’s image is very finely executed, and signed and dated RF, 1801 in a characteristic Field signature of the period.
An oval, bust-length portrait in polychrome watercolors of Ann Beall, her head and body facing slightly to the proper left as she looks at the viewer. She wears a white mobcap and a white shawl over a brown gown which appears to be velvet. The portrait is lit from the proper right and there are subtle shadows cast on her proper left side. The hatched brown background is of the same dark brown tones as her dress, which in turn is close to the color of her loose curls of hair, eyes, and eyebrows. The overall effect is of a monotone, though there are very subtle hints of color in her cheeks and lips.
Encased in black painted wood (or papier-mache?) frame with gold, oval-shaped inset; hanging hardware attached at top center with a rose-and-thistle ornament.
Watercolor on ivory; wood, glass; gilt metal
Overall (Including frame): 4 15/16 in. × 4 1/4 in. × 3/8 in. (12.54 cm × 10.8 cm × 0.95 cm)
Other (Miniature only): 2 7/8 in. × 2 3/16 in. (7.3 cm × 5.56 cm)
Gift of Mary Washington Marr, 2009
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