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Polly Ouldfield of Winyah

ca. 1761 Jeremiah Theus Born: Chur, Switzerland 1716 Died: Charleston, South Carolina 1774 oil on canvas 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 in. (76.5 x 63.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of International Business Machines Corporation 1969.130 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 1A


Luce Center Label

Polly Ouldfield was born into a life of privilege. Her father was a member of the Commons House of Assembly in London, and records indicate that he owned land in Georgetown in 1752. Polly's husband was a landowner from Charleston, South Carolina, who served as Commissary of Militia in the Georgetown District during the Revolutionary War. (Middleton, Jeremiah Theüs: Colonial Artist of Charles Town, 1953) In this portrait the landscape beyond the window suggests the Ouldfields' significant landholdings, and Polly's luminous, lace-trimmed silk dress embellished with decorative pearls also conveys the richness of planter society. Jeremiah Theüs often showed his subjects lit from above, as in this portrait.

Keywords

Portrait female - Ouldfield, Polly - child

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Jeremiah Theus

Born: Chur, Switzerland 1716 Died: Charleston, South Carolina 1774