Saturday, May 18, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1761 Jeremiah Theus 1716-1774 Polly Ouldfield of Winyah Smithsonian

The Smithsonian tells us that Polly Ouldfield was born into a life of privilege. Her father was a member of the Commons House of Assembly in London, and records indicate that he owned land in Georgetown in 1752. Polly's husband was a landowner from Charleston, South Carolina, who served as Commissary of Militia in the Georgetown District during the Revolutionary War. In this portrait the landscape beyond the window suggests the Ouldfields' significant landholdings, and Polly's luminous, lace-trimmed silk dress embellished with decorative pearls also conveys the richness of planter society. Jeremiah TheĆ¼s often showed his subjects lit from above, as in this portrait.