Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts)
Oil on canvas
27 x 22 in. (68.6 x 55.9 cm)
Gift of Donald F. Bush, in memory of Harriet P. Bush, 1978
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 724
Elizabeth Williams (1765–1843) was the eldest daughter of Elizabeth Bell and Henry Howell Williams. In 1797, she married Andrew Sigourney, a prominent Bostonian. Over the course of his life, Sigourney served as treasurer of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, treasurer of the town of Boston, and representative in the Massachusetts state legislature. Here, Stuart has toned down the almost sensual quality he lent many female sitters in order to emphasize Mrs. Sigourney’s knowing intelligence and prosperity.
the sitter, Boston, died 1843; her grandson, Andrew John Cathcart Sigourney, Baltimore, died 1869; his wife, (later Mrs. William M. King, Norfolk, Virginia), died 1893; her daughter, Martha Sigourney Harmon, Norfolk, Virginia; her son, Andrew Sigourney Harmon, Norfolk, Virginia, until March 1915; sold to Samuel Moore Gaines, Fort Worth, Mar. 1915–1916; Herbert Lee Pratt, New York and Glen Cove, New York; his daughter, Harriet Pratt (Mrs. Donald F. Bush), New York, died 1978; her husband, Donald F. Bush, New York, until 1978