According to a handwritten description in the Museum’s copy of the 1896 sale catalogue of the King collection, the sitter in lot number 55 wears a red wrap and carries a parasol, the attributes seen here. Percy Moore Turner (1913) pointed out that while Beechey was "one of the most unequal painters of the British school," he was quite good "when seen in a congenial mood." The costume and the arrangement of the hair suggest a date of about 1805. The painting is generally in good condition but was flattened during the lining process.
[2010; adapted from Baetjer 2009]
David H. King Jr., New York (until 1896; his sale, Chickering Hall, New York, February 17–19, 1896, no. 55, for $3,000 to Blakeslee); [T. J. Blakeslee, New York, from 1896]; George A. Hearn, New York (until 1905)
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Portraits, Figures and Landscapes," January 12–February 4, 1951.
P[ercy]. M[oore]. Turner. "Pictures of the English School in New York." Burlington Magazine 22 (February 1913), p. 270, as a "most attractive" portrait by Sir William Beechey, "one of the most unequal painters of the British school".
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 8.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 194, ill., as "Portrait of a Woman".
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, p. 153, no. 73, ill. (color).