Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1963
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 751
Born in Massachusetts, Hathaway worked as an itinerant portrait painter before pursuing a career in medicine. "Lady with Her Pets" is his earliest known work and depicts Molly Wales Fobes of Raynham, Massachusetts. Fashionably dressed, Molly sits in a Chippendale-style chair surrounded by a fantastical array of “pets,” which were likely included as emblems of her beauty, loyalty, and affection. They may also reference her family’s interest in natural history, as her father was a professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. The flowers decorating her fan and bodice, combined with her French-inspired hairstyle, identify Molly as a refined and worldly woman.
Signature: [at lower right]: RH / Octr / 1790
Inscription: [at lower left]: Canter
Marion Raymond Gunn, Newton, Massachusetts, by 1957; her estate; with Vose Galleries, Boston, as agents, 1958; with Mary Allis, Fairfield, Connecticut and Winsor White, Duxbury, Massachusetts, 1958; Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, Cambridge, Maryland, 1958 –1963