Mary Washington (Snickers) Hunter
ARTIST: Francis Cezeron was an itinerant portrait artist as well as a teacher of dancing and French. Born in Virginia in 1747, the MESDA Craftsman Database has documented his advertisements in Frederick, Maryland, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Hagerstown, Maryland. He also worked in western Pennsylvania. He died in 1828 in Kentucky. Cezeron followed a standard formula for most of his portraits, depicting sitters in half-length profile in an oval frame.
INSCRIPTION: On the reverse of the support there is an inscription that has been recorded as “Jefferson City/ Va.” This probably refers to Jefferson County, Virginia, where the portrait may have been done.
RELATED OBJECTS: The MESDA Collection includes five paintings from “Piedmont”, the house built between 1786-1890 for Dr. John Briscoe, Jr. (1752-1818), and Eleanor (Magruder) Briscoe (b.1766). These include portraits of Dr. and Mrs. Briscoe by John Drinker (1760-1826) (MESDA acc. 973.1-2); a portrait of Sarah D. Rutherford by Drinker (MESDA acc. 973.3?); and a portrait of General William Darke (1736-1801), by Frederick Kemmelmeyer (1760-1821) (MESDA acc. 973.3). The collection also includes another work by Cezeron, a portrait of John Jameson (MESDA acc. 3229.1)
DESCRIPTION: Painting of young woman, facing full left with body half left, wearing classical brown hairstyle, earring, high-waisted classical white dress. Painted on brown oval background. Gold frame with oval insert.
REFERENCES: Kate Hughes, “Piedmont’s Portraits: Patrician Image-Making in the Lower Shenandoah Valley”, MESDA Summer Institute 2017.