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Chester Harding (1701-1866)
Mrs. Samuel Appleton (Julia Webster), ca. 1840
Oil on canvas
John Butler Talcott Fund - 1972.91

In what may be a wedding portrait Mrs. Samuel Appleton wears a black ermine-lined pélisse over a light colored gown. The hat with its wide brim tilted slightly on her head is decorated with plumes of feathers that cascade over the collar. While the painting was executed about 1839, the high waist of the pélisse and slight puff of the sleeve was common in fashions of the mid-1820s. This portrait styled to be displayed in a public space, features Mrs. Appleton regally posed on a red chaise with a background of velvet draperies.