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Inscription

falsely inscribed, on stretcher in ink: Ann Brown Hamilton showing / Effigie of Andrew her husband / Charles Bridges

Provenance

(Rose M. de Forest, New York); sold 30 April 1923 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York, as a portrait of Anne Brown Hamilton by Charles Bridges;[1] sold by Clarke's executors to (M. Knoedler & Co.), New York, from whom it was purchased 29 January 1936, as part of the Clarke collection, by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift to NGA, 1947.

Exhibition History
1924
Exhibition of the Earliest Known Portraits of Americans by Painters of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, The Union League Club, New York, March 1924, no. 19, as Anne Brown Hamilton by Charles Bridges.
1928
Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928-1931, unnumbered and unpaginated catalogue, as Anne Brown Hamilton by Charles Bridges.
Bibliography
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 158, repro., as American (?).
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 306, as Unknown [Formerly Considered American].
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 409, repro., as Unknown Nationality 18th Century.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 295-296, repro. 295.
Technical Summary

The medium-weight canvas is fairly coarsely plain woven; it has been lined, but the original tacking margins survive intact. The ground is brown, thinly applied. There appears to be a light-colored, locally applied, underpainted layer beneath the dress. The painting is executed smoothly and fluidly in opaque layers, with little impasto. The original canvas is penetrated by numerous splits and tears in the lower half, and is traversed by bulges and surface deformations. The lining canvas has been torn off around the inscription. The paint surface is in good condition except for slight abrasion in the background darks. The natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a moderate degree.