Mary (Berry) Beall
ARTIST: Lewis Clephan (1752-1833) was active in New York City as a miniaturist and hairworker from 1787-88. Between 1797-1833 he lived in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a decorative painter at the Capitol and White House, under Dr. William Thornton. He was also the proprietor of a painting, glass, canvas, and frame business. He died in Washington, D.C.
FRAME: Portrait is in highly carved, gilded frame. The canvas is tacked to the sides of the stretcher which appears to be original. Stretcher is mortise and tenoned with pegs at each corner.
RELATED OBJECTS: MESDA also owns a needlework by Mary Beall (MESDA acc. 4347.1) as well as the companion portrait of her husband Otho Berry Beall (MESDA acc. 4347.2). MESDA also owns an additional portrait by Clephan, that of Leonard Harbaugh (MESDA acc. 2501).
DESCRIPTION: 3/4 length portrait of Mrs. Otho Berry Beall (Mary Berry Beall) turning slightly to the left. She sits in a yellow painted fancy chair with her arms folded in her lap; in her proper right hand she holds a flower; to her right is a table with a basket of flowers with a pink curtain draped above. She is wearing a white bonnet with a lace ruffle and tie at top, a beaded necklace and sheer light colored neckerchief; her dress is blue with a white ruffled collar and lace at the sleeve hem; her belt is gold; she has dark hair and eyes and a slight double chin.