called Lady Frances Culpeper Stephens Berkeley (1634-ca. 1695) / Woman of the Ludwell family

Artist: Unknown
Date: probably 1690-1730

Lady Berkeley, identified as the subject of this portrait by tradition, was the wife of Governor William Berkeley and later married Philip Ludwell. Berkeley built a home at Greensprings but after his death, the Ludwell family moved there. Based on style, the portrait could date to as early as the 1690s but appears to show a young woman, making the subject identification questionable. The costume and style dates to 1690s-1720s and it was likely painted in England. It is also unclear how much damage or overpainting the portrait sustained making dating difficult. The subject could be a member of the Ludwell family or a related family, even a Grymes family member. The portrait descended in the Ludwell-Lee family and sometime in the 1760s, the portrait moved to Stratford Hall, a Lee family home. It descended with a portrait identified by tradition of William Berkeley but with similar questionable attributions. A portrait identified as Colonel Charles Grymes also descended with the Berkeley portraits and traveled from Greensprings to Stratford. See a portrait identified as Lucy Higginson for another portrait sometimes identified as Lady Berkeley.

Dimensions: 50 x 40 in. (125.73 x 102.87 cm.)

The subject is a young woman wearing a wrap dress with her left elbow resting on a marble slab table. Her left hand is touching long hair that rests on her shoulder. Her right hand is resting on her lap. Drapery on the right of the composition.

See: Alexander Wilbourne Weddell, ed., A Memorial Volume of Virginia Historical Portraiture, 1585-1830 (1945), 91-92; Encyclopedia Virginia 

Family: Ludwell