on reverse: George Southard / Artist. pupil of Josep [sic] Ames / Joseph Ames. Pinxt
(Ehrich Galleries, New York), by 1918. (sale, Stan V. Henkels, Philadelphia, 5 February 1920, no. 32); Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York; his estate; sold as part of the Clarke collection on 29 January 1936, through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1947 to NGA.
- One Hundred Early American Paintings, Ehrich Galleries, New York, 1918, p. 15.
- Exhibition of Paintings by Early American Portrait Painters, The Union League Club, New York, December 1921, no. 15, as George Southward by Joseph A. Ames.
- 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 George Southward by Joseph A. Ames.
- Bolton, Theodore. Early American Portrait Painters in Miniature. New York: F. F. Sherman, 1921, p. 145.
- Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928, unnumbered, as George Southward by Joseph A. Ames.
- Rutledge and Lane 1952, 113.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 10, repro., as George Southward by Joseph Alexander Ames.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 20, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 21 repro.
- 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: 10-13, repro.
The painting is on a wooden panel, 1.3 cm thick, most likely yellow poplar, which has been visibly scored with diagonal lines to simulate the texture of twill fabric. The reverse of the panel has a grayish green coating and a sketch of a head. A white ground of medium thickness was applied, with an additional reddish brown toning layer under the head, collar, and background. Paint layers are creamy and smooth and have been applied with a wet-into-wet technique. The surface has been abraded through the face and hair and along the edges; inpainting is evident in these areas. The upper left part of the background has been glazed during a past restoration. A slightly discolored varnish covers the surface.