Provenance

Mrs. Benjamin Rush Toland, Philadelphia;[1] sold to (Ehrich Galleries, New York). (McClees Gallery, Philadelphia) by 1928;[2] sold to Alexander Dallas Thayer, Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania; gift 1956 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1960
American Painters of the South, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1960, no. 84.
1969
A Nineteenth-Century Gallery of Distinguished American, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1969, p. 23.
1970
Two Centuries of American Portraits, University of Kentucky Art Gallery, Lexington; Paducah Art Gallery, Kentucky; J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, 1970, no cat.
1975
"Anywhere So Long As There Be Freedom," Charles Carroll of Carrollton, His Family & His Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art, 1975, no. 39.
1976
Portraits USA 1776-1976, Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 1976, p. 40.
1985
A Truthful Likeness: Chester Harding and His Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, 1985, no. 20.
Bibliography
1834
Dunlap 1834, 2:289.
1969
Stewart, Robert G. A Nineteenth-Century Gallery of Distinguished Americans. Washington, 1969: 23, repro.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 62, repro.
1975
"Anywhere So Long as There Be Freedom": Charles Carroll of Carrollton, His Family & His Maryland. Baltimore, 1975: 176, no. 39.
1976
Dickson, Harold E. Portraits USA: 1776-1976. Exh. cat. Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University, State College, 1976: 40-41.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 168, repro.
1981
Williams 1981, 88, repro. 106.
1985
Lipton, Leah. A Truthful Likeness: Chester Harding and His Portraits. Exh. cat. National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville. Washington, D.C., 1985: no. 20, 81-82.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 192, repro.
1996
Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 246-250, color repro.
Technical Summary

The painting was executed on a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric that has been lined. Cusping on all four cut edges suggests that the image has not been reduced. The off-white ground is thick and, although seemingly smooth, has a distinctively brushy appearance under x-radiography. Subsequent paint, generally thick, was broadly and rapidly applied. The exceptions are the shadowed areas of the face and hair, which are more thinly executed. It appears that the face, coat, and background were painted directly on the ground, while the hand, book, and chair back were added over the coat and background color. In 1957 the painting was relined and discolored varnish was removed. Two small losses to the right of the sitter's head have been inpainted, as well as smaller losses in the sitter's right cheek and in the background. His right shoulder has been reinforced. The varnish has discolored.