Thomas Sully (American, 1783-1872)
Portrait of Mrs. Lydia Biddle, 1826
Monogrammed and dated "TS 1826" l.c., identified on a receipt from the artist
affixed to the stretcher.
Oil on canvas, 19 x 15 in. (48.3 x 38.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Lined, paint losses, craquelure.
Literature: Edward Biddle and Mantle Fielding, The Life and Works of Thomas Sully, 1783-1872, annotated by G. L. Winthrop (Philadelphia: Wickersham Press, 1921), no. 138; Charles Henry Hart, A Register of Portraits Painted by Thomas Sully, 1801-1871(Philadelphia, 1908), cat. no. 132.
N.B. Lydia Biddle was the daughter of the Reverend Elihu Spencer. She married William MacFunn Biddle and moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The portrait was painted for her son William, begun by Sully on September 11th and finished November 1st, 1826.
The text of the handwritten receipt reads, "Recieved [sic] Novr 20th 1826 of Mrs. Biddle/the sum of Fifty dollars for her likeness/in portrait./$50/Thos Sully"