Artist: Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 50 5/8 x 39 1/2 in. (128.6 x 100.3 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number: 07.76
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.