Elizabeth Willing married Samuel Powel in 1769. She lost two sons soon after birth, remained childless, and was widowed for thirty-six years.
Using intuition, common sense and scholarly research, David Maxey has written a delightful ‘who dunnit’ mystery to unlock the secrets on the origins of a portrait of Elizabeth. What do the symbols mean in the portrait, why is she dressed the way she is (no jewels, simple dress without stay), when and why was the portrait commisssioned and who painted it? What happened to it with the passage of time?
All of this is answered admirably by David Maxey in
“A Portrait of ELIZABETH WILLING POWEL 1743-1830”
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 2006
To all of you, my readers, I highly recommend this delightful booklet on Elizabeth Willing Powel, and the deciphering of her Portrait. Hint: the portrait was NOT done by Gilbert Stuart.