|1794 Matilda in silks, diamonds, pearls, & snowflake piochas (hairpins)|
THE WORLD OF SAMUEL MEEKER, MERCHANT OF PHILADELPHIA, AND GILBERT STUART, AMERICAN PORTRAIT ARTIST
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Monthly pick: Matilda Stoughton [de Jaudenes y Nebot] has big dreams and marries a minor Spanish attaché; the portrait by Gilbert Stuart
Marrying the Spanish Consul’s daughter allowed Josef de Jaudenes y Nebot to stay in the United States where he surely happily envisioned being able to stay as a permanently ensconced envoy of Spain (like his father-in-law). But by 1796, charged with corruption, he was sent back home where he returned to his family’s ancestral estate, a vineyard near Palma, Majorca. Matilda had surely imagined a more illustrious outcome of the marriage. But at least the two had their Stuart portraits which were commissioned for the occasion of their wedding. Which is why the two are remembered today.
FROM LAWRENCE PARK
Louisa Carolina Matilda Stoughton was the second daughter of Don Juan (John) Stoughton who, for thirty years previous to his death in 1820 in his 76th year, was the Spanish Consul in Boston. He was prominent in the establishment of the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the United States, erected in Boston. Esther Fletcher, whose death in 1789 is noticed in a contemporary Boston newspaper, and who was the mother of his daughter Louisa, was either Stoughton’s first or second wife. Louisa Carolina Matilda was well known in Boston, in her youth, for her beauty. In 1794 she married Don Josef de Jaudenes y Nebot.
New York, 1794. ....Her dress is of white flowered silk, finished at the neck with a dainty fichu edged with lace. Her luxuriant hair is powdered and a coronet-shaped headdress with two tall feathers is set on top of her head in the center. Nestling in her hair, at the base of the headdress, are clusters of jewels. Jewels are in her ears, around her neck, on her dress, and at her wrists. By her side is a table, with a red velevet cover, on which are two leather-bound books, one open as though she had been reading. Her hands are in her lap and she holds a closed fan. A brownish-pink curtain is draped in the background, showing clouds and a sky of blue and pink at the right. In the upper left-hand corner under a coat of arms is the following inscription: “Dona Matilde Stoughton de Jaudenes-Esposa de Don Josef de Jaudenes y Nebot Comisario Ordenador de Los Reales Exercitos de Su Magestad Catholica y su Ministro Embiado cerca de los Estados Unidos de America. Nacio en la Ciudad de Nueva-York en los Estados Unidos el 11 de Enero de 1778.”
(From the Met book Gilbert Stuart [from Albert Ten Eyck Gardner, “Fragment of a Lost Monument,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s.6 March 1948, p 190] p 125),
Next; Josef's portrait.
at 8:53 PM