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Provenance

The sitter [1773-1833], Roanoke, Virginia; presented to William Leigh, Halifax, Virginia;[1] his son, J.R. Leigh, Halifax, Virginia; his son, Judge William Leigh, Danville, Virginia; his son, John Randolph Leigh [1895-1961], Danville, Virginia, by 1928;[2] consigned by January 1937 to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York);[3] sold 21 January 1937 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1940 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1950
Makers of History in Washington 1800-1950 [An Exhibition Celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the Establishment of the Federal Government in Washington], National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1950, no. 16, repro.
1952
[Opening exhibition of new art gallery], Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1952-1953, no cat.
1953
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1953.
1955
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1955.
Bibliography
1922
Bruce, William Cabell. John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773-1833. 2 vols. New York and London, 1922. Reprint. New York, 1970: 2:68.
1929
Harding, Chester. A Sketch of Chester Harding, Artist, Drawn by His Own Hand. Edited by Margaret E. White. New ed. Boston, 1929: 150.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 96, no. 493.
1942
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 249, repro. 7.
1944
Richardson, Edgar P. American Romantic Painting. New York, 1944: 34, no. 57, repro.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 145, repro.
1966
A Catalogue of the Collection of American Paintings in the Corcoran Gallery of Art. 2 vols. Washington, D.C., 1966: 1:55.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 64, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 169, repro.
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: 86, repro. 177.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 193, 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: 251-253, repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric. The painting has been lined, but cusping is present along all four cut edges. The off-white ground is smooth and thick. Subsequent brushwork was rapid and thick, except in the shadows of the flesh and hair, where the application was thinner. Small inpainted losses are scattered across the entire surface, especially in a network of dots on the facial area and a broader patch on the sitter's right sleeve. The varnish has discolored.