National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Colonel William Fitch and His Sisters Sarah and Ann Fitch John Singleton Copley (painter)
American, 1738 - 1815
Colonel William Fitch and His Sisters Sarah and Ann Fitch, 1800/1801
oil on canvas
overall: 257.8 x 340.4 cm (101 1/2 x 134 in.) framed: 283.9 x 365.8 x 11.1 cm (111 3/4 x 144 x 4 3/8 in.)
Gift of Eleanor Lothrop, Gordon Abbott, and Katharine A. Batchelder
1960.4.1
On View
From the Tour: John Singleton Copley
Object 11 of 12

Provenance

Dr. James Lloyd [1728-1810], Boston, or his son, James Lloyd [1769-1831], Boston;[1] John Borland [1792-1876], Boston, nephew of James Lloyd;[2] his sons, John Nelson Borland [1828-1890] and M. Woolsey Borland [1824-1909], who bought his brother's share;[3] his granddaughter, Katharine Tiffany Abbott [Mrs. Gordon Abbott, 1872-1948], Boston; her children, Katharine Abbott Batchelder [Mrs. George L. Batchelder, 1899-1977], Beverly, Massachusetts, Gordon Abbott [1904-1973], Manchester, Massachusetts, and Eleanor Abbott Lothrop [Mrs. Francis B. Lothrop, 1900-1992], Boston; gift 1960 to NGA.

[1] The artist's descendants believed that the portrait was painted for the Fitches' maternal uncle, Dr. James Lloyd, a prominent Boston surgeon [Martha Babcock Amory, The Domestic and Artistic Life of John Singleton Copley, R.A. (Boston, 1882), 195; Frank W. Bayley, The Life and Works of John Singleton Copley (Boston, 1915), 104; and Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1966), 2:419]. The donors also believed this (letter from Katharine Abbott Batchelder, 27 February 1974, in NGA curatorial files). Earlier owners, however, believed it was painted for Lloyd's son, who later served as United States Senator from Massachusetts. When M. Woolsey Borland placed the painting on loan at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 1898, for example, he wrote that it was sent to my grand-uncle Senator James Lloyd in Boston." (Letter of 19 December 1898, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, archives) Dr. Lloyd is listed in the Dictionary of American Biography 6, 333; for his descendants see Papers of the Lloyd Family of the Manor of Queen's Village, Lloyd's Neck, Lond Island, New York, 1654-1826, edited by Dorothy C. Barck, 2 vols. (New York, 1927), 2:889, 895, 899.

[2] Katharine Abbott Batchelder, letter, 27 February 1974, in NGA curatorial files.

[3] Batchelder 1974, letter; M. Woolsey Borland's death date is found in the Social Register, Boston (New York, 1910), 165.

[4] The birth-dates of Mrs. Abbott and her daughters are found in Nelson Otis Tiffany, The Tiffanies of America; History and Genealogy (Buffalo, 1901?), 37; Mrs. Lothrop's death is listed in "Deaths 1993," an appendix to Social Register Association, Social Register 1993, New York, 1992, 21. Other dates were obtained in conversations with Gordon Abbott III in 1988.

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