The sixteen-year-old bride of Josef de Jáudenes, Matilda Stoughton (1778–after 1822), was an American whose father served as Spain’s consul in Boston for thirty years. Although her richly fashionable costume and jewelry would have been regarded as excessive for a young Anglo-Saxon, the splendor was completely appropriate for the wife of a wealthy and ambitious Spanish diplomat. Matilda’s portrait is a harmonious pendant to her husband’s (07.75), but each work has its own artistic integrity. The two canvases are superb examples of Stuart’s firm, brilliant style just after his return to the United States from England. The coat of arms and the inscription at the upper left are later additions, made in Spain by another hand.
Inscription: [by a later hand, at lower left]: G. Stuart, R.A. New York, Sept. 8, / 1794; [by a later hand below coat of arms at upper left] Dona Matilde Stoughton, / de Jaudenes--Esposa / de Don Josef de Jaudenes, /y Nebot Comisario Ordena-- / dor de los Reales Exercitos, / de Su Magestad Catholica / y su Ministro Embiado cerca / de los Estados Unidos de / America-- /Nacio en la Ciudad de / Nueva- York en los Estados / Unidos el 11 de Enero de / 1778
the sitter, Philadelphia and Palma, Majorca, 1794–before 1819; the Jaudenes family, Spain, until 1907; acquired in Barcelona by Trotti and Company, Paris, February, 1907; with M. Knoedler and Company, New York