Matilda Stoughton de Jaudenes

Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts)
Oil on canvas
50 5/8 x 39 1/2 in. (128.6 x 100.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 755
The daughter of a New England merchant, Matilda Stoughton (1778–after 1822) was sixteen years old when Stuart painted this portrait celebrating her marriage in New York to the Spanish official Josef de Jáudenes (07.75). Seated before a loosely painted swath of drapery, she wears a fashionable silk dress and is adorned with pearls, diamonds, and a coronet-shaped headdress. An overt display of wealth, the work signals her newfound status as a Spanish aristocrat and departs from the restrained portrait style preferred by most American patrons of the era. The elaborate coat of arms and Spanish inscription—including Stuart’s signature—were added later by another hand, likely after the couple returned to Spain in 1796.
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